Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Stag Reveller Saved as Disaster Strikes; Wave-Dodger Plunges into Churning Sea

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Stag Reveller Saved as Disaster Strikes; Wave-Dodger Plunges into Churning Sea

Article excerpt

Byline: Sara Nichol

AMAN was lucky to be alive yesterday after he fell into 30ft waves as they crashed against a sea wall.

The 20-year-old, who had been out celebrating a stag weekend, slipped into the North Sea at Whitley Bay shortly before 10am yesterday.

It is thought the casualty had been playing a dangerous "wave-dodging" game just before he was swept into the sea.

With conditions in the water described as "atrocious", the man, who had been visiting Whitley Bay from Rotherham with 20 friends, was dragged north by the huge waves and strong current before becoming trapped against a 30ft wall.

Police, the Tynemouth Volunteer Lifeboat Brigade and Cullercoats RNLI all desperately tried to rescue the man but they were initially unable to reach him because of the waves pounding 30ft into the air off the sea wall.

One lifeguard dived into the water to try to get to the casualty but was dragged north and ended up further along the beach, where he managed to scramble out.

Crews eventually managed to lower a rope line off the promenade and down to the man, who slowly pulled himself along to a set of steps where he was helped up.

He was taken to North Tyneside District Hospital suffering from minor hypothermia and cuts and bruises.

Last night, he was in emergency care where his condition was described as "improving". He is expected to be discharged later today.

Peter Lilley, of Tynemouth Volunteer Lifeboat Brigade, said rescue teams also suffered cuts and bruises as they tried to reach the stricken casualty.

He said: "A man had fallen into the sea at the south end of the beach and was in urgent need of assistance. Brigade members arrived on scene to find that the man had fallen off steps at the bottom of a 15ft sea wall and had then been dragged north by the sea and was clinging to the side of a 30ft sea wall.

"Sea conditions at the time were atrocious and meant that when the lifeboat arrived on scene they were initially unable to reach the casualty, so RAF Rescue Helicopter 131 from RAF Boulmer was requested to attend. …

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