The Royal National Lifeboat Institution in Blyth has issued an urgent warning the public after a drunk man narrowly escaped
death after swimming into the path of an inbound cargo ship in the River Blyth.
RNLI Blyth reports that shortly after 3 p.m. on Sunday it received reports from someone on shore and a port employee that a person was swimming in the water near 4,000 ton MV Karla C as the ship was being escorted by a local pilot vessel to Battleship Wharf in the Port of Blyth. A volunteer crew from Blyth’s inshore lifeboat squad was dispatched to the scene as concern grew over the safety of the person in the water and what might happen if they were left swimming in a working harbor.
After arriving on scene, the man, who appeared to be under the influence of alcohol, refused assistance and advice to swim to shore, exclaiming “I’m coming for a swim here because it’s cheaper than the local pool”.
The man eventually swam to shore where he was questioned by local police and a Coast Guard team.
Blyth RNLI Deputy Launching Authority (DLA) Paul Raine questioned the man’s actions, saying “is it really worth risking your life going swimming in the cold water of a working harbor to save paying a few pounds to visit the local heated swimming pool”.
Photos and video captured from onboard the lifeboat show the moments shortly after the man escaped with his life.
Photos courtesy RNLI Blyth