Police have praised the actions of a courageous member of the public who went into the sea to save the life of a man.
On the evening of Sunday, August 28, Paul Finney and his partner Jillian York observed a man walking into the sea off Sea Road in South Shields. While Jillian rang police Paul went into the water in dark hazardous conditions to rescue the man.
Paul initially walked into the sea after the male was unresponsive to his shouts, he then swam towards him, at times becoming fully submerged in the water, and managed to drag the 23-year-old out of the water and to safety.
During his heroic actions Paul suffered minor injuries, including a jelly fish sting.
The 23-year-old was treated by paramedics and taken to hospital for treatment and has since been discharged.
Southern Area Command, Inspector Ged Fairclough, said: “Officers who attended this incident were incredibly impressed with the heroic actions of Paul and felt he deserved to be recognised for putting his own life at risk to save the life of another. He selflessly went into the sea to rescue someone else who was in danger.
“There is no doubt had he not gone into the water the outcome of this incident could have been very different.”
Despite Paul’s heroism police want to remind members of the public they should always consider their own safety before putting themselves at risk.
Insp Fairclough added: “Paul proved himself as a very strong swimmer who was able to deal with the conditions of the sea to not just swim out to rescue the man but to drag him from the water as well. However, not everyone will be strong enough to do this and we would always urge people to be cautious and make sure they consider their own safety and avoid putting their own life at risk.”