Emergency Service Award for Hartlepool RNLI

Dramatic scenes from the rescue at Seaton Carew Credit: RNLI Hartlepool

Trapped in wet sand, with the tide rising around him, teenager Neil Robson was minutes from drowning when Hartlepool RNLI and Coastguard volunteers risked their lives to save him.

The 17-year-old became trapped on Seaton Carew beach. If it wasn't for the bravery of the volunteers, he would have drowned.

The Hartlepool RNLI crew were first on the scene in their Inshore Lifeboat driven by helmswoman Clare Gibbin.

With sand and water up to their chests, plumber Liam Dunnett and engineering lecturer Mark Barker fought to keep Neil's head above water.

BT engineer Darren Killick, offshore crane operator Rob Archer and quantity surveyor Matty Adams removed their life jackets to dig the sand away from Neil's legs. The Coastguard's Colin Lodge and Chris Hornsey also assisted the rescue.

With just minutes to spare before the water would have covered Neil's face, the teams asked firefighters to use their engine's jets to free Neil.