5 children pulled from water near Discovery Park

SEATTLE — British tourists and a boater rushed in to pull children in danger out of the water near Seattle's Discovery Park on Friday.

There were more than 100 children between the ages of 10 and 11 in waters near the park, Seattle fire officials said.

Fire officials said five children were taken to a hospital after the response: four boys and one girl. One child is in critical condition; another is in serious condition.

"They were getting pulled further out by the current," one of the British tourists who helped pull the children out of the water said. "We dived in. We swam out. And we brought them back in."

The children at the park were part of a day camp with East African Community Services.

Emergency crews were at the scene of the water rescue Friday evening around 4 p.m. Hamish Rea was one of the British tourists who helped the children and was with three friends who say they also helped.

"We arrived in Seattle two hours ago, went for a burger, came to the beach," Rea said.

It's not how Rea would have imagined starting his vacation, but the British tourist says he and friends plunged into the cold water of Puget Sound to save the children and get them to shore.

"The kids were shouting, 'Oh, they're drowning, they're drowning,' and we thought they were joking because none of the adults were doing anything," Rea said.

Seattle parks officials said no swimming or wading is allowed at the area, but Seattle fire spokesperson Kristin Tinsley said that didn't stop over one hundred children from getting in the water.

“We do know they were too far out. It was clearly beyond their comfort level," Tinsley said.

Tinsley said they make regular trips to Discovery Park.

"Even when it's warm outside the waters are still cold, so you may not want to stay in it too long, longer than your body would allow," Tinsley said.

There appeared to be up to a dozen counselors with the group and a similar number of parents. Seattle Parks said Discovery Park West Point is not a life-guarded beach.

On this day, life-saving moves came from people who saw trouble and tried to help, including Rea.

The Seattle Fire department said it would follow up with the camp group about safety issues, and it plans to recognize the people who helped.

KIRO 7 tried to speak to the executive director of EACS on how many supervisors were there and whether they were trained for these types of situations but did not hear back from those personnel.

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