South Shields teenager who survived horrific cliff fall thanks rescuers who helped him

They were brought together by a moment of near tragedy.

Tuesday, 25th September 2018, 6:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 25th September 2018, 9:27 am
Robbie Drew meets his rescuers Seb Nagy, left, and Paul Cooper.

Now South Tyneside cliff plunge teenager Robbie Drew has finally been able to say ‘thank you’ to rescuers who helped him in his hour of need.

Robbie, 15, suffered serious injuries in a 20ft fall onto rocks at Manhaven Bay, South Shields, in early August.

Robbie Drew and mum Lizzie.

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He has now come face to face with Seb Nagy and Paul Cooper, who helped save the day by their fast and effective response.

Mr Cooper, 46, called 999 and directed emergency services to the scene, while Mr Nagy, 41, comforted a bloodied and shocked Robbie.

They enjoyed an emotional reunion with Robbie at his home in Marshall Wallis Road, South Shields.

Robbie Drew meets his rescuers Seb Nagy, left, and Paul Cooper, following his cliff fall at Manhaven Bay, South Shields.

Mortimer Community College pupil Robbie said: “I’m very, very grateful to them for what they did.

“They are my heroes, and I know my mum and dad feel the same. Without them, things really could have been a lot worse.

“It’s really nice to be able to meet them and to personally say ‘thank you’.”

But married dad-of-three Mr Cooper and Hungarian Mr Nagy, who lives in Jarrow, insisted they had only acted as anyone would.

Robbie Drew and mum Lizzie meets his rescuers Seb Nagy, left, and Paul Cooper.

Mr Cooper, a wind turbine rigger, of Hartford Avenue, South Shields, said: “It’s great to see Robbie again and to know he is back on his feet.

“I was just in the right place at the right time, I just did what had be done.

“At the time, I saw him and his friend on the clifftops and then I realised there was just the one of them, and then I heard someone crying out for help.

“I had my mobile and dialled 999, but it seemed to be an age before the emergency people got there.

“I helped as much as I could but the truth is that I was with my two-year-old granddaughter Harper and I couldn’t leave her.

“I’m not a hero, but it is great to see Robbie doing well.”

Mr Nagy, who with his daughter Dorina and son David, twins aged 15, also said he did not act heroically, adding: “There has been talk that we are heroes but we are not.

“I certainly don’t feel like one, I was just helping out as best I could. Like Paul, I was just there at the right time.

“It’s much better to see Robbie now, on the road to recovery, than he was when we first met.

“Back then, his left knee was very badly hurt, his face was white and he was covered in bruises.

“He’s doing really now which is really good to see.”

The accident happened when the ground gave way beneath Robbie’s feet at around 1.30pm on Thursday, August 2.

It took emergency team two hours to safely remove him from the rocks, and he was rushed to the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle.

Surgeons operated to treat a severe wound to his left knee, including ligament damage.

He has since undergone a skin graft, and may need further surgery.

Robbie spent two weeks in hospital but this week returned to school to start his final year studies.

His mum Lizzy Stavers, 43, a children’s social services worker, said: “Robbie’s dad Neil and I are so very grateful to Seb and Paul for doing what they did.

“Without them, things may well have been a lot worse.

“I contacted them through Facebook and it’s great to finally be able to put faces to the names I knew.

“People don’t always say thank you, but it was very important to us that on this occasion we did.”