Published: 11:31, 04 June 2020
| Updated: 12:56, 04 June 2020
A group of teenagers helped save a man's life by rescuing him from the sea, after initially mistaking him for a seal.
The dramatic events unfolded at Hythe seafront on Tuesday when the friends were enjoying a socially distant beach outing.
But while three of the teenagers were swimming in the sea they noticed a dark shape in the water a long way out.
But after watching the shape, they realised it was a man who was struggling to keep afloat.
A mother of one of the teenagers, who all wish to remain anonymous, said: "They thought it might be the seal at first.
"They watched for a while and started to realise it wasn’t the grey seal and it didn’t quite look right!
"They noticed arms waving a couple of times.
"They swam out to the dark shape and realised it was a man in difficulty."
Two of the friends reached the man and attempted to keep his head above water and take some of his weight as he was exhausted.
Another teenager, a lifeguard, then entered the water and brought the man back to shore.
Once on the beach, the friends set about trying to find his family, as well as giving him water and wrapping him in towels. His pulse was very weak and an ambulance was called.
'The man was on the verge of hypothermia and their actions had saved his life...'
The proud mother added: "The ambulance crew said that the man was on the verge of hypothermia and that their actions had saved his life.
"If it wasn’t for the friends taking a chance to go see if he was OK, and then saving him with pure speed and accuracy, he probably wouldn’t have survived.
"It was a complete team effort!
"They were all strong swimmers too that went to save him, that are well informed with the currents and the sea within this area.
"The man was down from London with his family and not familiar with the sea and had swam out and got caught in the current.
"He’d been in the sea over an hour and it is still so cold this time of the year.
"I feel very proud of them all."
A spokesman for the ambulance service confirmed the man did not need hospital treatment.
He said: "We were called at approximately 3.50pm to Princes Parade to reports a person who had been swimming was in need of medical attention.
"One ambulance crew attended the scene. The patient didn’t require further hospital treatment.
"We would like to thank anyone who came to the person’s aid prior to our arrival."
More by this authorSam Williams
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