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Man 'lucky to be alive' after swimming attempt

Lifeboats News Release

A man is lucky to be alive after he attempted to swim in rough seas at Redcar on Saturday afternoon, 15 October 2016.

The man stripped down to his underwear and went into the sea approximately 100 metres east of the lifeboat station slipway. He quickly got into difficulties and was carried by the current for around 200 metres before being washed inshore near the Dundas Street slipway. There he was brought out of the sea by two other men.

UK Coastguard received multiple 999 calls at 3.55pm to report the man in difficulties and the Redcar RNLI inshore lifeboat was tasked, together with a Coastguard helicopter and the Redcar Coastguard rescue team.

Dave Cocks, Lifeboat Operations Manager at Redcar RNLI, said:’' ‘We were paged just before 4pm after UK Coastguard received a large number of 999 calls.

‘When our crew arrived they could see the man was being rescued by two other men, believed to have been with him at the time he went into the sea. The lifeboat crew attended to the man until an ambulance paramedic arrived to give the man treatment.’

The lifeboat and rescue helicopter were stood down and the man and one of his rescuers was taken by ambulance to hospital for checks.

Dave Cocks said: ‘The man really is extremely lucky to be alive this afternoon. The sea is very rough as a result of the strong winds we’ve had over the past few days, plus this happened right on high tide.

‘We also believe alcohol has played a part in this incident.’

The RNLI’s Respect the Water campaign highlights the the effects of cold water on the body, particularly when alcohol has been consumed.

Cold-water shock can stop the heart no matter how fit you are, then steal the air from your lungs so you can’t cry for help,’ says the RNLI. ‘The cold can paralyse your limbs in minutes, as the blood moves to your organs to keep them warm. And even if you’re a strong swimmer you can drown just a few metres from safety. Knowing the unpredictability of water could save your life.’

For more information on the RNLI’s Respect the Water campaign go to

Key facts about the RNLI

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution is the charity that saves lives at sea. Our volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service in the United Kingdom and Ireland from 238 lifeboat stations, including four along the River Thames and inland lifeboat stations at Loch Ness, Lough Derg, Enniskillen, Carrybridge and Lough Ree. Additionally the RNLI has more than 1,000 lifeguards on over 240 beaches around the UK and operates a specialist flood rescue team, which can respond anywhere across the UK and Ireland when inland flooding puts lives at risk.

The RNLI relies on public donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. As a charity it is separate from, but works alongside, government-controlled and funded coastguard services. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824 our lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved at least 140,000 lives. Volunteers make up 95% of the charity, including 4,600 volunteer lifeboat crew members and 3,000 volunteer shore crew. Additionally, tens of thousands of other dedicated volunteers raise funds and awareness, give safety advice, and help in our museums, shops and offices.

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The RNLI is a charity registered in England and Wales (209603) and Scotland (SC037736). Charity number 20003326 in the Republic of Ireland