Quicksand warning on beach after teenager’s lucky escape

The area around the Black Rock where the quicksand is used each year for the popular Black Rock Race.
The area around the Black Rock where the quicksand is used each year for the popular Black Rock Race.

A THANKFUL Burntisland grandfather has warned youngsters about the dangers of quicksand after his grandson had a lucky escape.

Derek Sweet (15), from East Wemyss was trapped for more than half an hour in the sucking sand and unable to escape, as he searched for bait on the beach on the north side of the Black Rock in Burntisland on Saturday.

The Buckhaven High School pupil was staying over at his grandfather Gary Sweet’s home in Linwell Court when he asked if he could go down to the beach to search for bait around 8.30 p.m.

Mr Sweet (63), explained: “He said he would only be around 15 minutes.

‘‘I was pottering about in the garden, but when he still wasn’t back 40 minutes later, I went down to the beach to see where he was.

“I am only two minutes away and as I came out on to the beach from under the tunnel off the main road, I could see him about 150 yards or so away.

“There was nobody else on the beach and I shouted on him to come up.

“He shouted back ‘I can’t, I’m stuck’ and as I got nearer I could see the sand was up over his knees and he was completely stuck.”

Derek was wearing wellington boots, and his grandfather told him to try to get out of them, but he said he had tried but couldn’t move.

“The tide was on its way out, so he wasn’t in immediate danger, but he was frozen as he had been there for over 30 minutes after getting stuck not long after he got to the beach,” said Gary.

“I dialled 999 and got through to the Coastguard and they put me through to the local station.

“I told them what was happening. They had already been informed and said they were on their way.

“I ran back to the house and grabbed a jacket and a rope and when I got back three passing police officers had arrived. They managed to dig and pull him out, and as we headed home Coastguard officers were coming under the tunnel.

“Derek was very lucky that the tide was on its way out as it comes in around the rock very quickly and if it had been coming in things could have been very different for him.

“I want to thank the emergency services for acting so quickly and warn others of the danger, particularly youngsters.”