Sea-fall boy quits fishing

Dean Kerr with (from left) Insp Lee Rukin, PCSO Andy Douglas, PC Derek Wade and Sgt Peter Howarth and (above) the Mail's front page story

Dean Kerr with (from left) Insp Lee Rukin, PCSO Andy Douglas, PC Derek Wade and Sgt Peter Howarth and (above) the Mail's front page story

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A TEENAGER who was saved by policemen when he plunged into the bitterly cold North Sea has given up fishing after his ordeal.

Dean Kerr, 14, fell into the water off Hartlepool’s North Gare, near Seaton Carew, and desperately clung onto a pole so he was not swept away by the swell.

The Manor College of Technology pupil had been fishing with friends when a gust of wind and a wave dragged him off the breakwater and into the sea last Thursday afternoon, as reported in the Mail.

His mum, Valerie, 39, said it could have easily ended in tragedy and Dean is still recovering from the ordeal.

She said: “He’s still scared now. He won’t go back to the pier and won’t go fishing at all, and I don’t blame him.

“He was so cold and had a really big shock. I was terrified.

“The police called and said ‘your son’s in hospital’, I didn’t know what to do, you just panic.

“He has been very lucky. Maybe now I’ll try and get him into football more, something a bit safer.”

Dean was saved after a friend used their mobile phone to call the police for help at around 2.40pm.

Three officers and a police community support officer used rope from a lifebelt to pull the teenager from the sea and the police helicopter was also called to assist.

The youngster was taken to the University Hospital of North Tees, in Stockton, where he was tested for hypothermia, but was released later the same day with just a sprained ankle.

Valerie, a cleaner who lives in Jura Grove, Hartlepool, and is also mum to Aaron, 20, and 11-year-old Dylan, added: “He’s been fishing since he was 10 and goes all over.

“This is the first time he has got into any trouble.

“Luckily he is OK, it could have been a lot worse. I’m really thankful to those that helped him and people should listen to their warnings.”

Police have urged parents to make sure their children do not fish in such dangerous areas.

Sergeant Peter Howarth, of Hartlepool Police, said: “Others may not be so fortunate. The area around the North Gare is fenced off for a reason.

“It is extremely dangerous, and nobody should even contemplate fishing there.”