Brighton grandfather reunited with sisters who saved him from drowning

Joe McCluskey with Shelene Beaver and Leighane Nethercott

Joe McCluskey with Shelene Beaver and Leighane Nethercott

First published in News by

A grandfather has been reunited with the heroic sisters who saved his life.

Joe McCluskey was knocked unconscious when he hit his head on a rocky groyne while he was swimming off Rottingdean beach in August.

The five Nethercott sisters from Woodingdean came to the aid of the 87-year-old after his son John desperately called for help when he spotted his father lying face down in the water.

Mr McCluskey was in a coma for three days following the incident and spent a fortnight at the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton before making a full recovery.

Six months later Mr McCluskey, from Brighton, has given £1,200 to sisters Shelene Beaver and Leighane Nethercott to say thanks for their life-saving actions.

The five sisters Shelene, Gemma, Michele, Leighane and Nicola, all helped with the rescue as well as a passing off-duty trauma nurse from the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton.

Mr McCluskey said: “I was an inch away from death. Another 60 seconds and I would have been a goner.

“I am almost back to normal now, although I have problems with my memory.

“I know nothing about the incident, even in the morning before I went to the beach. I don’t remember anything from that day.

“I am very grateful for what they did and I am glad that I made two people very happy with my gift.”

Mrs Beaver said: “It was a lovely day and Joe was so humble.

“We were very shocked by the gift, we were gobsmacked.

“It was just so nice to know that he was well, we didn’t know what had happened to him and we feared that he had died.

“It was totally an automatic reaction, I saw a man running down the beach and I just jumped up and started running.”

Mr McCluskey’s son John, 56, said: “I ran down the beach where I had been watching him and threw myself into the sea with all my clothes on.

“Me and the two sisters had him out of the water within a minute, the trauma nurse and the first lifeguard were there within 90 seconds and the second lifeguard with the defibrillator within two to three minutes.

“It was that speed that made the difference between my father having brain damage and him making a full recovery.”

Comments (1)

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9:59am Tue 18 Mar 14

whatevernext2013 says...

that has to be wrong taking money off an OAP , good on them for pulling him out of the water ,but come on were is the community spirit or moral values ,when you take money off an OAP ,that s just low ,do the right thing and give it back ,just shameful
that has to be wrong taking money off an OAP , good on them for pulling him out of the water ,but come on were is the community spirit or moral values ,when you take money off an OAP ,that s just low ,do the right thing and give it back ,just shameful whatevernext2013
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