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Seaford boy saves friend from drowning
1:10pm Wednesday 22nd August 2012 in News
An 11-year-old boy from Seaford has been hailed as a hero by his proud mother after rescuing his drowning friend from the sea.
Quick thinking Alex Rookley saved 10-year-old Erin Williams when she began struggling in the waves off Eastbourne.
The two had gone for a splash as crowds flocked to the beach to enjoy the good weather. But when the current changed, they began to be swept out to sea and under the water.
Alex’s mother, Alyssa McDiarmid, from The Esplanade, Seaford, said her little boy had been “incredibly brave”.
She said: “They had gone to play about while we were watching the planes. Suddenly I noticed people all around me were looking out to sea.
“I got this weird panicky feeling and rushed down to the water’s edge and shouted to them.
“I could see Erin panicking and sinking under the water with Alex next to her. It was terrifying.”
The two had got into trouble when the current changed and started to sweep them away from shore.
Luckily Alex, a strong swimmer, leapt into action to save his struggling friend.
He grabbed Erin and pushed her onto a nearby groyne where she was able to haul herself to safety.
Mrs McDiarmid said: “He told her not to cry and promised her he was going to get her out of there.
“He was quite happy to risk his own life to save hers. He was such a little hero.”
Although she was severely shaken by her ordeal, Erin was unhurt apart from some cuts from barnacles.
Modest Alex, also unhurt, was surprised to be told he was a hero after the August 12 drama.
Mrs McDiarmid said: “He was very shy when I hugged him and told him he had saved Erin. He didn’t seem to realise how brave he had been.”