The story is quite straightforward, according to Western Morning News:
Another report in Herald Express described this way:
On the day of the incident, March 18 this year, the two girls had been sitting on a ramp, leading onto the beach, watching the breaking waves. A freak wave engulfed them and they were bounced onto the ramp railings and the sea wall.
The girls were prevented by powerful local currents and more heavy waves, from standing and drawing breath.
However, Sam and Joe who had been about to leave for home after spending a day surfing, saw the girls in trouble and went to their rescue.
Sam McMahon, 15, and his pal Joe Richards, 14 leapt into the sea at Preston Sands after they saw two 12-year-old girls being swept into stormy seas by a freak wave. Holly Osborne and Abigail both from Kingskerswell were dragged into the 'heavy sea with big waves battering the beach'.The boys are now awarded, deservedly, top bravery honors locally. The case again underscore the ever present dangers of the coastal beach environment. What could have gone wrong by simply sitting on a ramp watching the breaking waves? Everything! There is just no place can be considered safe in the coastal beach area. Never, ever, let your guard down when you are out there.