An Eastbourne man is being praised after saving a life in the sea.
Joe Hylands, 34, dashed into the water to help a man last Wednesday (June 14).
He and his girlfriend Katarina Fonesca said they spotted the man who was undressing on the beach as they were waiting to watch fireworks around 8.30pm.
Mr Hylands said he became concerned as the man walked naked into the sea and moved deeper into the water, not responding to Mr Hylands’ whistle to catch his attention.
After following the man chest-deep into the waves Mr Hylands said he began a conversation with him, in which the man said he had no reason to live.
“There’s no way I could have done nothing,” said Joe.
“I didn’t think twice about running into the sea and I wouldn’t have left until he came out.”
After 15 minutes of talking, Mr Hylands said he was able to coax the man back to shore and offered his hat for the man’s modesty.
His girlfriend Ms Fonesca had contacted the police and comforted the man until they arrived.
The couple said the man broke down in tears and told Mr Hylands if it had not been for him he would have drowned.
Joe said, “I feel good that I helped someone, and I’d do it again. The problem is nowadays no one really tries to help, they just get their phones out and want to film it.”
Joe’s auntie Tina Capehorn posted on Facebook, “Couldn’t be more proud of my nephew. Such a selfless act Joe.”