Twins thank rescuers at 50th birthday

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Twin sisters have celebrated their 50th birthday with the three men who saved them from drowning when they were 12 years old.

Sharon Elding, of Butterwick, and Louisa Hooper, of Gypsey Bridge, recently marked their half century with a party at Boston’s Pilgrim Lounge.

And among the guests were the trio who came to their rescue after they were dragged by currents into deep water at Sandilands, near Sutton on Sea, in 1978.

They were: Bob Gradley, an uncle, and Geoff Rylott and Dave Jackson, family friends.

The headline of that week’s Standard reads ‘twins cheat death in sea drama’.

The story describes how Louisa tumbled over a groyne into deeper water. Sharon then tried to help her sister, but also got into trouble.

The current kept pulling the girls under the surface of the water, the story continues, before the men then helped get them back on dry land.

The girls’ mother Maureen Cooper, of Kirton, states in the piece that ‘one man alone wouldn’t have saved them’.

For their 50th birthday, the twins got in touch with Geoff and Dave, who they have rarely seen since the incident, and invited them along with their uncle to attend their party.

“If the day had been different we would not have been having the party,” said Sharon, today a mother-of-two (Louisa is a mother-of-one).

The trio were given a bottle of Champagne at the event in tribute to their efforts.

Geoff, 69, of Boston, said he was ‘gobsmacked’ when he was approached about the party, which he said proved to be a poignant occasion.

He said: “I just felt there are two people there celebrating their birthday who if we had not had a good day at the office would not have been there.”

The twins added: “We would both like to thank them and our family and friends that came to the party and made it a fantastic night to remember.”