Quick-thinking lifeguards rescue swimmers swept from Norfolk shore

Holidaymakers and families enjoying Gorleston beach . Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Holidaymakers and families enjoying Gorleston beach . Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2018

Two swimmers were rescued by lifeguards after being helplessly swept out to sea by strong currents.

A really rough sea at gorleston beach. Picture: Submitted.

A really rough sea at gorleston beach. Picture: Submitted. - Credit: Karl Keeley

Great Yarmouth and Gorleston Lifeboat was called on Thursday (June 20) to reports of a young male in difficulty off Gorleston beach.

The man had been swept behind a sea defence, with no easy route back to the beach.

Lifeguard Neil Bryan paddled out to approximately 200 metres and reached the swimmer but on account of the conditions and distance back to shore decided to wait for assistance from Gorleston lifeboat.

When the rescue vessel arrived, crew helped Mr Bryan transfer the swimmer to the lifeboat and carry him back to the station for further checks.

Lifeguards raise a red flag on a beach. Picture: RNLI.

Lifeguards raise a red flag on a beach. Picture: RNLI. - Credit: Archant

A simultaneous rescue was also under way after the swimmer's friend had entered the water but was swept up in the same dangerous current.

Another lifeguard, Matt Black, swam out to the second man, who was 50 metres from shore, and managed to carry him back to the beach.

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One of the swimmers went to hospital for further medical attention.

Liam Fayle-Parr, RNLI lifeguard supervisor, said: "This incident shows how quickly swimmers can get into difficulty.

"Even if the sea conditions look relatively benign, there can ben unknown currents that catch people out, which is why is it so important to come to a lifeguarded beach and swim between the lifeguards' red and yellow flags."

The RNLI has praised the lifeguards, Mr Bryan and Mr Black, for their quick-thinking and composure and managing the incident.

Around 190 people lose their lives every year on the UK and Irish coasts.