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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 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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