Drunk Swimmer Sparks Rescue

Lifeboats News Release

A drunk man swimming in the Tyne harbour sparked the launch of Tynemouth RNLI lifeboat and other emergency services early this morning.

Humber Coastguard received reports of the man swimming off the Fish Quay Sands, North Shields at 06:35 (Tuesday August 30th) and immediately requested the launch of Tynemouth RNLI inshore lifeboat. 

The lifeboat launched soon after the volunteer crew was paged and sped the short distance from the lifeboat station round to the beach where the swimmer was quickly found by the three crew members. The man was inebriated and initially refused to return to shore but with a few strong words from the lifeboat crew he was persuaded to return back to the beach where he was met by members of the Tynemouth Volunteer Life Brigade who were tasked to assist from shore..

The man then refused to leave the water as he was naked but once paramedics arrived he was wrapped in a thermal blanket and taken to an ambulance for assessment.

As the casualty was on shore the lifeboat stood down and returned to station.

Adrian Don, spokesman for Tynemouth RNLI, said: 'Taking a swim on a beautiful morning might have seemed like a good idea but alcohol and the sea don't mix. This could very easily have turned into a tragedy and getting the man out of the sea quickly was the priority. 

'Two years ago a man sadly drowned in similar circumstances just a few yards away from this location.'

'The RNLI aims to half coastal drownings by 2024 and comprehensive advice about staying safe in and around water can be found at respectthewater.com'


Photo Caption: 30 Aug 2016 A man is helped to a waiting ambulance by members of the TVLB and paramedics after Tynemouth RNLI lifeboat volunteer crew members on board Tynemouth RNLI inshore lifeboat forced him to shore for his own safety. The man had been swimming off the Fish Quay sands, North Shields and it is thought he had been drinking heavily.  Please credit: Adrian Don/RNLI

For more information: Please contact Adrian Don, Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer on 07834 731833

Tynemouth RNLI lifeboat station was established in 1862 although there have been lifeboats on the river Tyne since the world's first purpose built lifeboat was launched here in 1790. The station has 30 volunteer crew members who come from all walks of life. We operate two lifeboats: The Severn class all weather lifeboat Spirit of Northumberland and our D class inshore lifeboat Mark Noble. We have a website at www.tynemouth-lifeboat.org, and you can find us on Facebook at Facebook.com/TynemouthRNLI or follow us on Twitter @TynemouthRNLI

Key facts about the RNLI

The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates over 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.

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Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or or by email.