A north London accountant has described the moment he rescued a 14-year-old girl from violent seas in which two women drowned.
Adam Cramer, 49, dived into the surf at Playa Pariso in Tenerife and dragged the girl to safety as her body was tossed repeatedly against rocks.
The teenager was believed to have waded into the sea with another youngster and got into trouble. The two women who died, both British doctors, were thought to be family members who had tried in vain to save them.
Mr Cramer said: “I had just arrived at the hotel and I and my three children had gone down to the pool. A German tourist came running up from the beach shouting ‘help, help, help — children in the water’. He sounded frantic.
“I ran down to where he had come from. The waves were crashing against the rocks and police were standing looking into the water helplessly.
“I saw a girl in the white of the waves. She was being thrown around. I had a split-second to think and I knew I had to save her.
“It was beshert [destiny], you know? I jumped into the water and worked out the best way to get her. I swam over and grabbed her. I was being thrown about. The force of the sea was terrifying. We swam for 10 minutes. I told her it was going to be OK and to hold on to me.”
Mr Cramer, who attends Mill Hill United Synagogue, had stayed at the resort before so knew the coast well.
He said: “I grew up swimming around rocks and I knew if I did it in the right way I would be OK. I got her to the shore and as we got out I saw the other bodies being dragged from the water.
“Watching that and thinking it could be the child’s parent was heartbreaking. The girl’s mother turned out to be on shore but she was in a terrible state.”
The women who died were Uma Ramalingam, 42, a consultant obstetrician, and Barathi Ravikumar, 39, a GP. Both were pronounced dead at the scene.
He said: “If it had been my children I would want someone to do what I did. I hugged them a bit more that night.”
Mr Cramer is still on holiday with his three children, Yasmine, 12, Isabella, 11, and Benji, eight.
He said: “Yasmine received a tweet from someone who she thinks is the step-daughter of one of the women who didn’t make it. It said: ‘Please thank your father for what he has done. We owe him so much’.”