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Woodingdean sisters save elderly man from drowning in dramatic Rottingdean rescue
A sister act of five siblings helped pull a bleeding and unconscious pensioner from the sea in a dramatic life-saving rescue.
The Nethercott sisters from Woodingdean helped rescue a man in his 80s from the sea off Rottingdean on Wednesday after he had knocked himself out on a rocky groyne.
The sisters were alerted to the man lying face down in the sea by his son’s desperate pleas for help.
Yesterday, the sisters spoke exclusively to The Argus about the dramatic ordeal and said the real hero of the hour was an offduty accident and emergency nurse who managed to get the man breathing again.
Enjoying the last few days of the summer holiday, Shelene Beaver joined her sisters Gemma, Michele, Leighane and Nicola, as well as mother Sharon Henson and eleven children at Rottingdean beach on Wednesday.
Just before 12.45pm, a man in his 60s sprinted past the group shouting for his father who was lying face down in the water.
Shelene said: “I looked down the beach and I could see a body floating.
“My first reaction was that it was a child.
“Me and my sister Leighane just ran into the sea and started to help the son pull his dad out of the water.
“My other sisters called for the lifeguard and then started helping the man.
“The son couldn’t pull him out by himself.
“We dragged him out and then we had to pull him further up the beach as the tide was coming in.
“I turned to my sister and said wash your hands, you have blood on them.”
Mrs Beaver said the son was shell-shocked at the scene but told the sisters that his father was called Joe and he had been watching him swim because he was fitted with a pacemaker.
She said that an off-duty accident and emergency nurse from the Royal Sussex County Hospital came running across the beach and took control of the situation before lifeguards and paramedics reached the scene to give the man oxygen and two shocks from a defibrillator.
She said: “If that nurse hadn’t been there and started CPR I don’t know what would have happened.”
The man was taken to the Royal Sussex County Hospital on Wednesday for treatment.
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