‘Drunk’ man on beach was actually drowning

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RESCUERS have been thanked by a man they saved from drowning.

The 58-year-old, from London, was swimming at Bracklesham Bay in West Sussex, when he got into difficulty.

Members of the public alerted Chichester District Council’s deputy foreshore officer Neil Foster because they thought the man, who was staggering close to the water’s edge was drunk.

In fact he had swallowed sea water and was drowning.

With the help of another bather, Mr Foster dragged the man out of the water and placed him in the recovery position.

He alerted Solent Coastguard who called an ambulance, which meant Mr Foster was able spend more time looking after the casualty.

He said: ‘All the time I was reassuring the guy. He wanted to fall asleep but I knew that if he did he would fall unconscious so I had to keep him awake.’

The swimmer was taken to St Richard’s Hospital, Chichester, where he spent several hours on drips before being allowed home.

Mr Foster said: ‘Usually we don’t get to find out what happens to a casualty but the man drove down from his home in London. He came and shook my hand and said “thank you”.’

It happened July 30.