A Jewish man from north London has told of how he now hugs his kids “that little bit tighter” after saving the life of a young girl in Tenerife in a tragic incident that saw two mothers drown.
Divorced father-of-three Adam Cramer, 49, who had just arrived on holiday with his own children, told how – only moments after checking in – he reacted to calls for help from the beach.
“It was a rocky outcrop and the waves were just pounding into the rocks,” he told BBC Five Live. “There was white water foaming everywhere and I could see there were some heads bobbing up and down in the sea.”
As police warned others away, Mill Hill shul member Cramer “saw this girl and felt I had to try and help her” so he slipped into the water.
“It wasn’t deep, the danger was that the waves were throwing us against the rocks, and it’s all volcanic here so it just cuts you to shreds,” he said.
“The girl was in a terrible state, but she was English, so I could spoke to her and she told me her name. I said we’re going to be fine and we swam out, away from the rocks, we started off on a long swim with her on my back until we got to somewhere bit safer and got her out of the water.”
Cramer (pictured, right), a keen sportsman and chartered accountant, is no stranger to the sea and last year rowed the Channel to raise £33,000 for breast cancer awareness.
But after rescuing the young girl, who he said was the same age as his own daughter, Cramer said he realised that the incident had claimed other lives.
“When the girl got back to her mother, the mother’s obvious relief stood in complete contrast to her total trauma at seeing her friends’ bodies pulled out onto the rocks,” he said. “She just didn’t know which way to turn.”
Uma Ramalingam, 42, and her relative Barathi Ravikumar, 40, both British doctors, drowned after trying to rescue their two children who were swept out by a freak wave.
“Nobody in their right mind would have gone swimming in that sea,” said Cramer. “They’d been standing on rocks watching the waves crashing in when one huge wave crashed over them and swept them out to sea.”
He added: “It’s very hard to carry on with a holiday after that. I’ve got three kids myself and you look at them and you hug them just that little bit tighter when you see something like this.”