Man, 70, pulled from Lowestoft sea as he battles rip current
- Credit: Mick Howes
A lifeguard plunged into the North Sea to rescue a man who had got into trouble in a rip tide off Lowestoft.
The 70-year-old man had been swimming near the groynes on Lowestoft south beach about 10.30am on Wednesday, July 7 when he got into difficulties in the current.
RNLI lifeguard Harrison Blowers saw the man swimming near the groynes, not far from the Hatfield Hotel, and he moved with his rescue board further down the beach away from the possible rip tide so that he could enter the sea quickly.
An RNLI spokesman said: "Although the man appeared to be a strong swimmer, the lifeguard noticed him beginning to struggle as he swam against the rip current.
"Harrison entered the water quickly with his rescue board.
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"The casualty remained calm and lifted his hand in the air so that Harrison could clearly see him."
The lifeguard then paddled further out to sea and around the groynes, bringing the man to the other side of the beach and back to shore.
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The spokesman added: "The team undertook a series of medical checks and found the man to have sustained a few scratches from the groynes, but no serious injuries."
The man returned to the beach yesterday (Thursday) and thanked the RNLI team with a box of chocolates.
Mr Blowers praised the man’s calmness during the incident.
He said: "Although people’s natural instinct is to swim towards the shore, not fighting the current is essential.
"Follow our Float to Live advice and when you can, call for help.
"Only if you’re able to, swim parallel to the shore so as to not wear yourself out.
"You will soon feel the effect of the rip current reduce, allowing you to make it back.
"In this instance, the casualty’s calmness was important in allowing me to get him back to shore safely."
The incident came as the Eastern Daily Press, North Norfolk News and Great Yarmouth Mercury launched Play it Safe - a joint campaign that aims to ensure everyone visiting Norfolk's waters this year stays safe and remembers their day out for all the right reasons.
For more information on the RNLI’s Float to Live advice visit https://rnli.org/safety/know-the-risks/rip-currents