From: Beverley Mitchell, Bluebell Gardens, St Leonards
I would like to publicly thank the two men, Darren and John, who very kindly stopped to help my wife on Friday, June 28.
As it was such a lovely evening, Deb decided to have a paddle in the sea off De la Warr Parade. She was only ankle deep, but a sudden large wave swept the shingle from under her feet. This caused her to fall backwards, and end up sitting in the water, with the tide coming in.
Deb has trouble with her knees and, after 15-20 minutes of struggling, she was unable to get up. I tried to help her, but I wasn’t strong enough. Deb was starting to get very cold and tired, and her blood sugar levels had started to drop (she is diabetic).
I ran up to the promenade to seek help, but at that moment in time it was deserted, so I rang the coastguard on 999. Having taken the details from me, they rang me back a few minutes later, and assured me help was on the way.
However, another 15-20 minutes later, there was no sign of them. By then, the tide had come in a bit more, and the larger of the waves were starting to break over Deb’s head. She was starting to panic, and so was I.
I ran to the promenade again, and this time there were a few people around.
I flagged down a passing cyclist, John, and asked if he could help. He immediately agreed, and started heading towards the beach. I then flagged down a second cyclist, Darren, and he quickly headed off with John.
Working together, the two of them were able to lift Deb onto her feet, and then help her up the beach to the promenade. They were both offering Deb words of support and reassurance the whole time. At that moment, the coastguard rang me again, so I was able to stand them down from attending.
I drove Deb to my parents’ house, as it was much closer than home. By now, she was very cold, and her blood sugars were dangerously low. We got her out of her wet clothes, gave her something to eat, and wrapped her in a thick blanket.
Once Deb had started to recover a little, I was able to take her home, for a warm shower and a warm bowl of tapioca. As I write this, she is fast asleep, exhausted from the evening’s events.
Thanks to John and Darren stopping to help, a very dangerous situation was safely resolved. I cannot thank them enough for their assistance.
If they hadn’t stopped and agreed to help, I dread to think what could’ve happened. They are both heroes in my eyes.