Beach patrol heroes save man from sea

BEACH patrol staff have been hailed as heroes after the dramatic rescue of a man who nearly drowned in the sea at Clacton.

Annie Davidson

BEACH patrol staff have been hailed as heroes after the dramatic rescue of a man who nearly drowned in the sea at Clacton.

John Shipman and Eddie Vaughan-Chatfield pulled the unconscious man from the water close to Clacton Pier on Saturday morning.

The drama unfolded at about 11.30am when the victim, who was diabetic and had been drinking, collapsed and fell backwards into the sea.


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When Mr Vaughan-Chatfield and Mr Shipman, of the Clacton beach patrol team, reached him he was unconscious and under the water.

The pair managed to get him to the beach and clear his airway while they waited for ambulance crews to arrive.

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Mr Vaughan-Chatfield said: “He was under the surface when I got to him and we managed to get him out of the water and clear his airway which was blocked.

“We took his pulse and made sure he was breathing okay, covered him and looked after him until the ambulance arrived.”

“The man was diabetic and had been drinking. His heart rhythm was quite erratic. We took the defibrillator to him but it was not needed in the end.”

The victim, who was in his late forties, did not speak English and was visiting Clacton as part of a coach party but had no family with him.

Police also attended the incident and held back the crowds who had gathered to watch the drama.

Pierre Oxley, portfolio holder for leisure at Tendring District Council, said the man could well owe his life to the prompt actions of the beach patrol pair.

“Their swift efforts to get him out of the water and clear his airway could well have been the difference between life and death,” he said.

“Once again our beach patrol team has done a first class job in looking after the safety of people on our beaches and I cannot praise them enough.”

Tendring District Council seafront manager Tim Sutton praised the whole beach patrol team who had “dealt with a very difficult incident in a very calm and professional manner.”

Essex Air Ambulance flew the man to Colchester General Hospital and he is expected to make a full recovery.

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