Police officers at around noon on Saturday helped back to shore eight children and two adults, who had gone stand up paddle (SUP) surfing in Miiduranna near Tallinn, but had drifted away from shore due to the wind, spokespeople for the North Prefecture of the Estonian Police and Border Guard Board said.
At 12:17 p.m. on Saturday, the alarm center received a call about SUP surfers, who had gone to sea, but had drifted too far away from shore.
The incident was responded to by a Police and Border Guard Board boat and the Pirita rescue team, which brought back altogether 10 people - eight children and two adult coaches - who had drifted approximately a kilometer away from the shore.
Four children had been able to get back on their own. Most of the children who had gone surfing were 14 years old. All 14 individuals were checked by medics and were deemed to be healthy.
Kaja Rand from the East Harju police station said the outing had been planned as part of a birthday party.
"Two coaches along with 12 children went out to sea, but they were caught up by the wind and the water started carrying them further away from the shore," Rand said, adding that most of the children in the group were SUP surfing for the first time.
"Despite the fact that surf school instructors gave instruction and safety lectures on the shore, it is always the task of the adults to assess the weather conditions as well as the skills and abilities of those who go to sea.
"Today, for example, there is a very strong wind and in such conditions one could have considered postponing the event. Fortunately, it was good that the distress was quickly reported and the police, together with the rescue, were able to start helping people operatively," Rand said.
Editor: Helen Wright