A pair of heroic men have told how they helped save a paraglider who fell into the sea after his engine failed mid-air.

The paraglider was forced to land in the sea after problems with his motorised paraglider as he was sent plummeting into the water near Worthing Pier on Saturday morning.

As bystanders called emergency services, two men sprang into action by jumping from Worthing Pier and dragging the paraglider to safety before lifeboats arrived.

Scott Ricketts, 31, one of the men who jumped in to save the paraglider, said: “We were in Worthing on holiday to see my brother and the first thing we did was walk along the pier.

The Argus: Emergency services at the incidentEmergency services at the incident (Image: Sussex News and Pictures)

“We heard this hang-glider buzzing around and we didn’t pay much notice until we heard this big splash.

“It was all a bit of a blur. I had my two kids with me, and I just put my keys and phone down and jumped in.


“We were swimming over and we couldn’t un-tangle him, so we held on to him and swam to shore from the end of the pier.

“In a couple of minutes he would have been gone I think. You would like to think that someone would do the same thing for me.”

Tim Browne, 35, who was visiting the seaside town from Bromley, also jumped into the water to help save the paraglider and drag him to safety. He added: “When I jumped in the water was freezing but we wanted to make sure that the chap was ok.

The Argus: Tim BrowneTim Browne (Image: Tim Browne)

“We managed to get on to the shore and free him from his equipment and that was when the emergency services arrived.

“My wife ran out of the Perch On The Pier where we were having breakfast and brought some blankets. We had been in the water for about 40 minutes, so I needed to get myself warm.”

“It all seems like one crazy dream now. If it hadn’t been next to the pier it all could have been a different story.”

Lifeboat services from Littlehampton and Shoreham were called to the scene but were stood down after Scott and Tim had dragged the man to shore.

The volunteer crews dropped everything on Easter Saturday to get to the lifeboats and the incident, with one crew member running out of her bank holiday shop to answer the call.

The Argus: A paraglider recovered from the sceneA paraglider recovered from the scene (Image: Sussex News and Pictures)

Bea Homer, was at Morrisons, in Littlehampton when she abandoned her shopping.

After the paraglider was rescued, he was treated by emergency services at the scene.

A spokeswoman for HM Coastguard said: “HM Coastguard received multiple 999 calls at around 10:15am on Saturday, April 8, after a motorised paraglider crashed into the water off Worthing Pier.

“Coastguard rescue teams and RNLI lifeboats from Littlehampton and Shoreham were sent along with the ambulance service.

“The paraglider was able to self-recover to the shore and has been passed into the care of the ambulance service to be checked over.”