Hero Matthew Seekings jumps in sea and saves life of man who plunged from Palace Pier (From The Argus)
Get involved: Send your news, views, pictures and video by texting SUPIC to 80360 or email us.
Hero Matthew Seekings jumps in sea and saves life of man who plunged from Palace Pier
A pier worker jumped fully-clothed off the Brighton landmark to save the life of a man who moments earlier plunged 40ft into the sea.
The dramatic incident at 6pm on Saturday played out in front of crowds of people.
Witnesses described how the man, described as being in his 40s, clambered over the railings and leapt from the pier and into the ice-cold waves.
Pier worker Matthew Seekings, 22, of Brighton, was with his colleagues when he heard about the incident.
He ran over to the edge of the pier, took off his shirt and steel-capped boots and without thinking about his own safety, threw himself off the pier.
Speaking to The Argus, he said: “People wanted to jump in – members of the public – but a number had been drinking. I realised someone needed to do something.
“I took my shirt and boots off and just jumped in. It’s about 40ft but I didn’t think about that. I just did it.
“I thought he was dead when I first got to him in the water.”
Colleagues threw him a lifesaving ring and he swam out to the man, who was disappearing under the water.
Mr Seekings grabbed hold of him and kept him afloat until the lifeboat arrived.
Last night the man was believed to be in a serious condition in hospital.
Mr Seekings – who said adrenalin kept him going – was hailed a hero by Sussex Police, members of the public and his bosses. He was back at work, training staff on the pier’s rides yesterday.
He said: “Everyone said, ‘you must be freezing’, but I was so full of adrenalin I did not feel anything until I got home and had a shower – then I realised how cold I was. I was just so hyped up.”
Anna Spencer, 32, of Kettering, Northamptonshire, was in Brighton with a friend and witnessed the incident.
She said: “We saw a group of girls screaming and went over. There was a man in the sea – his hands were waving but his face was going under the water.
“It was horrendous, we felt so helpless.
“Mr Seekings jumped over and saved him – he saved his life. He was a hero.”
Solent Coastguard and Sussex Police said the incident is not being treated as suspicious.
Sergeant Dave Bennett said about Mr Seekings: “I will arrange for him to receive an award or similar. It was very brave of him.”
Comments are closed on this article.