Bystanders rescue 'fully-clothed' woman who walked into sea

A busy beach and promenade at Gorleston.
A weekend of warm and sunny weather.
May 2012

Gorleston beach was the scene of a dramatic bystander rescue on Tuesday (March 22) when a woman walked into the sea fully clothed. - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2012

An eyewitness has hailed the "amazing response" of bystanders in Gorleston after a woman walked into the sea.

The incident on Tuesday (March 22) lead to a dramatic rescue with paddle boarders responding to shouts from the shore and managing to get her back to safety.

A man at the scene described how he was walking along the beach opposite Jay Jays cafe at around 4.30pm when he saw a young woman who looked to be paddling in the surf, but started walking into the sea fully clothed wearing leggings and a hoodie.

Realising it "didn't look right" he called out to her but she would not respond.

He said: "We were then walking back and I saw this lady paddling, but then it became obvious she was fully clothed and was walking further and further out.

"I was calling out to her and she was carrying on.

"She just kept going.

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"Luckily there were two paddle boarders that were not too far away and I managed to get their attention.

"I was just getting ready to strip off but they blocked her with their paddles.

"Then they grabbed her and got her on a board and brought her to shore."

Meanwhile some other dogwalkers had called the emergency services and people on the beach wrapped her in their coats.

"There was no one particular hero, but everyone managed to work together to bring her back," the eyewitness said.

"Even if just one of those people had not been there we might have missed her.

"The poignant thing that struck me was that one young woman who stayed with her for about an hour had the words 'be a good human' on her t-shirt.

"She wore the right top that day. It just got to me."

"It was so inspiring and so humbling," he said.

"Well done to the young woman for her kindness and living up to being a good human."

In a statement Norfolk Police said the force was alerted amid "concern for safety of a woman in the sea" who had been brought out by members of the public and was then taken to the James Paget Hospital for assessment.

PC Fawcett of Norfolk Police, said: “We would like to pass on our thanks to the two surfboarders who stayed at the scene until police arrived. Their prompt response to the incident and administration of first aid helped to save the woman’s life.”

If you need help and support, call Norfolk and Suffolk Foundation Trust’s First Response helpline 0808 196 3494 or the Samaritans on 116 123. Both services are available 24 hours 7 days a week.  You can also download the Stay Alive app on Apple & Android