Dramatic high-tide rescue as hero firefighter wades into 'treacherous' sea to save swimmer

  • Dramatic footage shows the firefighter and swimmer being bashed against the sea wall as they returned to shore

A firefighter who waded into the sea in conditions deemed too "treacherous" for lifeboats has been hailed a hero after saving a swimmer who got into trouble off the west coast of Jersey.

At around 9:15pm on Sunday 20 August, the coastguard called out the RNLI and Jersey Fire and Rescue after reports of a man in the water unable to get back to safety.

He was adrift around 25 metres from shore at St Ouen's Bay during high tide without a wet suit or any flotation equipment.

A specially-trained rescue swimmer from the island's fire service, waded into the sea to assist with the RNLI lifeboats on standby nearby.

A spokesperson for Jersey Fire and Rescue said the struggling swimmer was in "treacherous conditions" and it took several attempts to bring them to safety.

Both the swimmer and the officer who rescued him had to be treated by paramedics and taken to hospital after being repeatedly battered against the sea wall by the rough seas.

After being battered by rough seas and several failed attempts, the swimmer was eventually brought back to shore. Credit: Jersey Fire & Rescue

Ford Ramsden from Jersey's Coastguard said: “This was a difficult rescue, in the dark, at high tide, with rough sea conditions and waves breaking against the sea wall.

"We would advise islanders never to go swimming late in the evening, as this endangers not only the swimmers themselves, but also the emergency services who are called out to rescue them."

He added that while in this case, the swimmer was rescued and brought to shore safely, "it could easily have gone the other way".

Fire Station Commander, Ryan Hall, praised the "bravery, dedication and unwavering commitment to protecting and serving our community" of those involved with the rescue.

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