Four men – a passing cyclist and three holidaymakers – have been praised for saving the life of a distraught teenager who was seen walking into the sea at Blackpool.
Biker John Chapman, of North Shore, and Daniel Rawden, Oliver Nunn, and Nick Wray, all from Wakefield, threw life rings to the 19-year-old and pulled her to safety from the water behind the Metropole hotel, close to North Pier, in the early hours of Monday morning.
The men have now been hailed for their actions – and described as ‘selfless’.
Paul Little, the Coastguard’s station officer for Lytham, Blackpool, and Cleveleys, said: “They were very brave. Between the four of them they have saved her life.
“She would not have survived very long in the water and it would have been a completely different outcome. It was selfless.”
The teen, who is from Blackpool, was well dressed and is believed to have been partying in the resort before heading towards the war memorial at high tide at around 2am.
Mr Chapman, 31, said he was riding home to Claremont Road from a friend’s house in Central Drive when he said he saw her descend the steps after leaving her handbag on the ground nearby.
He said: “A wave hit her and she was just swept straight under. I threw a life ring but my phone battery had died so I couldn’t ring anyone for help.
“There were three lads on the Prom and they came after I shouted for help. One rang 999 and the other three came down the seafront.”
The distressed teen was around 30 to 40 feet off-shore at first, but moved closer and was able to be pulled to safety by the men, including Daniel, 18, who waded into the water until it was past his waist.
He told The Gazette: “It was very scary. She was six or seven yards out from us but she couldn’t get on her feet. She was in a really bad way, but she did not seem drunk.”
Daniel took off his shirt and wrapped it round the girl before emergency services arrived on the scene.
Two rescue teams from the Coastguard were dispatched, while RNLI volunteers from Blackpool launched in two lifeboats after receiving multiple 999 calls at 2.20am.
Armed police officers, who had been patrolling nearby, were first on the scene, and Coastguard staff cared for the woman, who was shivering and in the early stages of hypothermia, until paramedics arrived shortly after.
They took her to Blackpool Victoria Hospital.