Pair almost drown at West End Beach Ohope

Two women say they’re lucky to be alive after being dragged out to sea from what was believed to be a rip, while swimming at West End on Saturday.

The pair say they tried calling for help but were being hit by waves.

Erin -- one of the women involved says it was a terrifying experience.

The pair managed to be saved by two surfers who let them hold onto their boards as they floated back to shore.

They'd like to thank the two anonymous surfers that saved their lives.

Surf Life Saving Club spokesman Malcolm Rowson says put your arm up in the air when in trouble, the international sign for needing help.

Sam Gardner