A WARNING has been issued after a boy had to be rescued from the sea at Seaford after getting into difficulty.
Trevor Cutler, station officer at Newhaven Coastguard, warned the outcome could have been different if it had not been for the quick-thinking of members of the public.
The drama unfolded at Splash Point on May 20 when the boy, believed to be aged 13, went to the beach with two friends.
He and one of the pals went into the sea but the teenager got into difficulty.
It is believed the current dragged him further into the water and out of his depth.
Mr Cutler said, “A quick-thinking member of the public ran up to the top of the beach to get a life ring.
“He threw the ring into the sea to the lad, which he was able to get hold of.
“Another member of the public who had been surfing and had come out of the sea swam out and helped him ashore, with the other member of the public pulling the rope on the ring.”
Newhaven Coastguard were alerted at 3.30pm and raced to the scene where they assisted the ambulance crew in getting the schoolboy brought up on a stretcher.
South East Coast Ambulance Service attended the scene following a call at 4pm.
Mr Cutler added, “He was brought onto the beach completely exhausted and was put into the recovery position by a member of the public until the ambulance got there.
“He was very cold and believed to have mild hypothermia.
“It could have been a really nasty incident if they had been dragged up to the Splash Point breakwater.
“If it hadn’t been for the quick thinking members of public we could have been dealing with a different incident.
“I want to stress to the local children if they are going swimming to make sure the conditions are right and to tell their parents and let them know when they come out, because no-one knew they were down there.”
The boy was taken to Eastbourne DGH for treatment.