Lifesavers close in on award

Hartlepool Rnli and coastguard members battle against the  rising tide to release the trapped casualty. Picture by Tom Collins.
Hartlepool Rnli and coastguard members battle against the rising tide to release the trapped casualty. Picture by Tom Collins.

A brave squad of lifesavers - who saved a teenager when he was minutes from drowning - are a step away from a prestigious national title.

The heroic Hartlepool RNLI and coastguard volunteers have been nominated for ITV programme Daybreak’s Emergency Services Award - part of the Daily Mirror’s Pride of Britain Awards.
The volunteers risked their own lives to save Neil Robson who was trapped in sand and just minutes away from drowning. The 17 year old became trapped on Seaton Carew beach after trying to rescue his little brother.

In no time at all, the RNLI crew was on the scene in an inshore lifeboat driven by helmswoman Clare Gibbin. Five crew members went into the water to help free Neil.

With sand and water levels reaching their chests, Liam Dunnett and Mark Barker fought to keep Neil’s head above water while Darren Killick, Rob Archer and Matty Adams removed their life jackets to dig the sand away from Neil’s legs.
The Coastguard’s Colin Lodge and Chris Hornsey also arrived to help dig Neil free from the sand. The 75-minute ordeal ended with just moments to spare before the water would have covered Neil’s face.

The winners of the Daybreak Emergency Services Award will be announced this Friday, and the successful entrants will then be invited to a glittering presentation ceremony on October 29 in the Grosvenor House on London’s Park Lane, to be shown on ITV1 the next day.

For the full story, see tomorrow’s Hartlepool Mail.