A TEENAGER was pulled to safety after he got into trouble off the coast of Thorpe Bay.
Nigel Wiseman, 60, swung into action to help rescue the 17-year-old after he spotted him panicking in the water.
Nigel, who works as a resort officer to keep people safe on the seafront, worked with a member of the public to throw in a life ring to drag the teenager back to shore, near the Thorpe Bay Yacht Club.
Nigel put the teenager in the recovery position and cared for him until help arrived.
He said: “He was in a state of shock because he had gulped water and was flailing about.
“He had ingested a lot of seawater, which was making him very short of breath.
“It didn’t look too good and I immediately called Thames Coastguard and Southend Coastguard, who attended the site along with the ambulance five minutes later.
“He was at risk of secondary drowning which means the ingested water is in the lungs and it can drown you from the inside.
“You have to take these conditions seriously because they could in extreme cases be fatal.”
The teenager, from London, was taken to Southend Hospital for treatment. He had been on the seafront with friends, who later told Nigel he had been released from hospital the same day.
Nigel, who has been a resort officer for Southend Council for 11 years, said: “This is certainly the most critical issue we have had to deal with this year.
Thankfully, incidents like this are rare.
“Obviously I was very glad to have been able to help.
“It’s nice to be able to do something really positive.
“It was good fortune that I happened to be where I was as my patrol area is from Ness Road to Thorpe Hall Avenue.
“I am glad I was there at the right time and I hope he’s OK.”
Nigel’s role is to monitor all aspects of beach life, from helping people in danger to reporting antisocial behaviour and illegal beach barbeques.