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'Hero' kayaker saves man from drowning

News | Published:

A KAYAKER has been hailed a hero after saving a swimmer from drowning in St Brelade's Bay.

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Nadine Nicolas was described as the 'hero of the day' by the Jersey Fire and Rescue Service, which said she had 'most certainly saved the swimmer from drowning'.

And, following the incident on Sunday, the service issued a warning to people not to go swimming after they have been drinking.

The service's inshore rescue boat had responded to the incident after a 999 call to the Coastguard reporting a swimmer in difficulty 300 yards from the shore.

In a statement, the fire service said: 'Upon arrival at Midbay slipway it was evident that there was a lot of concern and panic from members of the public in the area. The IRB and its crew quickly launched in the surf. Thankfully, it was quickly established that the swimmer was already receiving attention from a female kayaker who had given the swimmer her PFD lifejacket to keep him afloat. The swimmer was hauled into the IRB and was taken ashore where he was given a welfare check and safety blanket. Luckily, other than being cold and embarrassed, he was uninjured and able to walk away from this ordeal.'

It added: 'The hero of the day was the kayaker, Nadine Nicolas, who most certainly saved the swimmer from drowning. Once back on shore she was thanked for her help by the IRB crew and the Coastguard officer on scene, where it was established that she had only very recently arrived at the beach with a friend for a swim. When she got wind of the concern for the swimmer, she had borrowed the kayak from another member of public, unknown to her, and paddled out to the aid of the swimmer. She remained with him for approximately five minutes until the Fire and Rescue Service came to assist.'

Crew Commander Phil Falle said: 'It is very clear that Nadine’s swift and decisive actions saved this man from drowning and she must be commended for this. People need to avoid swimming or taking to the water in any way when they have been drinking alcohol. All too often alcohol plays a part when an avoidable tragedy occurs, or in this case very nearly happens.'

Lucy Stephenson

By Lucy Stephenson
author

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