29/06/2009

Coastguard Warning Over Drunk Man's Sea Rescue

People have been warned against swimming while drunk after a man was rescued off Somerset at the same spot where two people died last week.

A man in his 30s had to be pulled out of the water off the coast of Weston-super-Mare after he got into trouble.

Two coastguard rescue teams, two police officers and two helicopters were involved in the rescue.

It is understood the man went under the water several times before an RNLI lifeboat rescued him.

Brian Kemble, of Swansea Coastguard, warned the public that to enter the sea after drinking was "utter madness".

He said: "We understand the man has made a good recovery in hospital and is talking with those around him.

"If he had not been spotted by the police he may have been lost forever.

"We are all aware of the loss of the two men from the same area just a few days ago.

"In this case the man is very, very lucky and probably owes his life to both the people who spotted him and the rescue crews who saved him."

The man was spotted by police at 1.00am on Sunday.

A spokesman for the Maritime and Coastguard Agency said the man was taken to hospital and had "clearly been drinking heavily".

On Tuesday Dave Ellams and Lee Tompkins went missing from the same Somerset beach after they had been drinking and waded into the ocean.

A major air and sea search for the pair failed to find them or their bodies.

(JM/BMcC)

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