Brave Alex rescues friend in sea drama

Alex Rookley who saved a friend from the sea during Airbourne at Eastbourne. August 20th 2012 E34004N
Alex Rookley who saved a friend from the sea during Airbourne at Eastbourne. August 20th 2012 E34004N

THE PROUD mother of a Seaford schoolboy who helped save his friend from the sea has praised his quick-thinking.

Alyssa McDiarmid’s son Alex Rookley was making the most of the good weather during Airbourne weekend and went for a splash in the sea with his friend Erin Williams.

The 11-year-olds were swimming by a groyne when they got into difficulty and ended up going under the water and further away from the shore.

But luckily Alex, a strong swimmer, leapt into action to help his distressed friend. He was able to keep calm and spent several minutes helping get Erin to safety.

The pair, who were both covered in blood after being cut by barnacles during the ordeal, appeared to get into trouble after the current changed.

Mrs McDiarmid, who lives in the Esplanade in Seaford, said, “They went out to the groyne and I thought something was amiss.

“They were going under the water but had been playing with goggles.

“They were shouting between each other and talking but it turned out Erin was panicking and crying.”

The incident took place on Saturday August 12 as thousands flocked to the seafront to watch the air show as temperatures soared.

Alex, who will be attending Seaford Head Community College in September, managed to keep calm and reassure his friend everything would be alright. He was able to lift his friend over the other side of the groyne and then get himself out.

Mrs McDiarmid added, “I thought it was really sweet. I can’t believe it. I picked Erin up and went back up the beach, they were covered in blood where the barnacles had cut them.

“It was a brave thing to do and I was so impressed.

“He took it in his stride.”