AN 11-YEAR-OLD girl has spoken of her despair as passers-by ignored her cries for help as she became stranded by the tide on a shingle island.
Shanara Gray was playing with a friend on the waterfront at Priddy’s Hard in Gosport when they decided to walk along a shingle pathway out into the water.
But when the youngster tried to turn back, she found the tide had rapidly come in behind her and she was trapped in the water on a shingle island.
As the tide began to creep closer, she called for help from people passing by on the nearby promenade – but for 30 minutes nobody stopped.
The 11-year-old, of Launceston Close in Gosport, said: ‘I was so scared.
‘I was shouting at people to help from the island but people were just shaking their heads and when my friend tried they said they were too busy.
‘One person said they couldn’t help because they didn’t have any wellies on and just walked off.
‘I was very relieved when the firefighters and police turned up.’
Eventually a fisherman who was nearby intervened to help the trapped girl and another man who was walking past called 999.
The fisherman tried to reach Shanara, but the mud around the shingle island was too difficult to walk over.
‘I just want to say a big thank you to all of them,’ added Shanara.
‘A fireman came over the mud and carried me as far as he could to get me off the island.
‘I want other people to know how dangerous it is.
‘Me and my friend thought it would be a fun thing to do but we didn’t expect it to be so dangerous.
‘We would never do it again.’
Shanara’s mum, Debbie Gray, was at home cooking dinner when the good samaritan who stopped to help her daughter called and told her what had happened.
She rushed round to the waterfront and watched as firefighters went across to bring the 11-year-old to safety.
Debbie, 42, said she was angry when she heard some people had just walked on past without helping.
‘What the girls did was stupid, and they know that now,’ she said.
‘But if you see someone in trouble, especially if they are a child, you don’t just shrug your shoulders and walk past, you help them.
‘I think it’s disgusting some people wouldn’t stop.
‘I want to say a big thank you to the two people who did stop and help and to the fireman, police and ambulance workers who turned up so quickly.’
Debbie and Shanara have no idea who the two men who stopped to help were.
They want to thank the strangers and warn other children not to play on the shingle areas around the waterfront at Priddy’s Hard.