Warning after drunk swimmer sparks early morning rescue

A drunk swimmer sparked a rescue in the River Tyne this morning.

Tuesday, 30th August 2016, 8:39 am
Updated Tuesday, 30th August 2016, 9:41 am
A man, who is believed to have been drinking heavily, is helped to a waiting ambulance by members of the TVLB and paramedics after Tynemouth RNLI inshore lifeboat forced him to shore for his own safety. Picture by Adrian Don/RNLI

Humber Coastguard received reports of a man swimming off the Fish Quay Sands, North Shields, at 6.35am, with Tynemouth RNLI inshore lifeboat being launched.

The lifeboat, with three crew on board, sped the short distance from the lifeboat station round to the beach where the swimmer was quickly found.

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”