'Wave dodging' reveller swept into sea during stag party

A STAG party reveller from Rotherham is said to be lucky to be alive after being swept into the sea in Whitley Bay, North Tyneside, and thrown against the promenade.

It is thought the man had been playing a dangerous "wave-dodging" game when the incident occurred.

Lifeguards from the Royal National Lifeboat Institution were called to the scene by a member of the public just before 10am on Sunday, June 20.

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One lifeguard entered the water with a rescue tube in an attempt to reach the man, who was approximately 200 metres from the shore, but this proved difficult due to the rough sea.

Crews from RNLI Cullercoats lifeboat station also made several attempts to get the boat close enough to the man in the shallow conditions.

Volunteer RNLI crew member Peter Clark said: "We could see the gentleman was getting extremely tired by this point and our main concern was to get him out as quickly as possible."

On the shoreline about 20 people, including lifeguards, police, members of the Tynemouth Volunteer Life Brigade and members of the public, used a towline from the lifeguard truck to throw to the struggling man and pull him back to safety.

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RNLI lifeguard supervisor Chris Mason said: "Once we decided that using the tow rope was the best option to get the casualty to safety as quickly as possible it was a real team effort.

"We worked extremely closely with the volunteer crews, police and members of the public, and this gentleman is extremely lucky to be alive.

"Once he was safely ashore he was taken to hospital by ambulance."