GRANDFATHER Trevor Perry is being hailed a hero after he jumped into the sea to rescue two children.
The 68-year-old retired carpenter put his own life on the line to swim around 200m into treacherous currents as a boy and girl struggled to keep afloat.
Now one of the children, 10-year-old Amy, has visited his home in New Cut, Hayling Island, with a thank-you card and a gift – an ornament of a guardian angel.
A card from Amy’s mum reads: ‘You saved my daughter’s life.
‘You risked your own and for that I will be forever grateful.’
The drama unfolded as Trevor and his wife were strolling along the beach at Eastoke.
‘Five children were in the water,’ he said.
‘My wife wanted to continue walking towards the sailing club, but I said I was worried about the children. The tide was ripping round and was about four or five feet away from them.’
A woman had brought a group of children down from a nearby caravan park to play.
Within a few seconds, the children were being swept out with the tide that was pouring out of Chichester Harbour.
Trevor said: ‘Three of them went round to the right closer to the beach and the other two were in the main current.
‘I just ran in and shouted “Call the coastguard” because I knew I could not swim back – you couldn’t swim against the current.
‘Amy was screaming for help. I got to the boy first and was treading water.’
Suddenly, the girl’s screams stopped and Trevor became very worried. ‘She went quiet and it seemed like a lifetime,’ he said. ‘I saw the lifeboat and I pointed in the right direction.
‘The lifeboat ignored me and went straight to where I was pointing.
‘The guys down there were terrific.’
Trevor was overjoyed when Amy and her mum, who live in Surrey, came to visit him. A hand-written card from Amy reads: ‘Thank you for being there’.
Trevor is now calling for more safety signs at Eastoke.