Beach patrol save drowning woman

TWO beach patrol staff from Walton-on-the-Naze took to the sea to save the life of a woman on Saturday - just weeks after they had been involved in a similarly daring rescue.

Roddy Ashworth

TWO beach patrol staff from Walton-on-the-Naze took to the sea to save the life of a woman on Saturday - just weeks after they had been involved in a similarly daring rescue.

Kayleigh Grant and Steve Duggan went to the aid of a 54-year-old woman from London after she was spotted in the water off the resort's pier at around 4.15pm.

The pair - who are part of Tendring District Council's Beach Patrol Team at Walton - immediately launched their rescue boat to get to the stricken casualty.

The woman had been in the water for about 10 minutes and was clinging to a lifebelt thrown to her by pier-worker Barry Vaughan.

Kayleigh and Steve dragged the woman into their boat before taking her ashore where they were met by coastguards and members of Walton's lifeboat crew.

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The woman, who was conscious, was wrapped in blankets until paramedics arrived and took her to Colchester General Hospital by ambulance.

Kayleigh, 21, was first alerted to the danger by her sister who was on the pier fishing with her partner.

She phoned the beach patrol on her mobile phone to tell them she had seen a woman go under the water.

“Steve and I immediately launched the boat and went straight out to her,” brave Kayleigh said.

“Luckily she was not that far out and we went alongside and got her into the boat.

“It was not easy as she was a dead weight, being soaking wet.

“The woman was very cold and shaking like anything after being in the sea for 10 minutes at this time of year, but she was conscious and talking to us.”

Just two weeks ago, on Easter Saturday, Kayleigh and Steve were involved in a dramatic rescue when they saved a 56-year-old woman from the sea.

On that occasion the woman's dog had been swept off the town's promenade by a large wave, and as she called to her pet the woman was also washed into the water.

Kayleigh, Steve and fellow beach patrol member Nick Key joined Nigel Speight - a seafront kiosk worker - in saving not only the woman but also her stricken dog.

Yesterday Pierre Oxley, the council's portfolio holder for Leisure, and seafront manager Tim Sutton, praised the team for their efforts.

“It has been a busy start to the season for them but as always they have done a fantastic job,” Mr Oxley said.

“We are very fortunate to have such an excellent teams along our coastline and I cannot thank them enough for what they do,” he added.

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