'It was a case of life or death' - Yorkshire friends speak of heroic actions to save man from drowning in sea

Joe Brook, 28, and Dylan Foster, 18, from Leeds have been praised by police for saving a man from drowning in Scarborough.
Joe Brook, 28, and Dylan Foster, 18, from Leeds have been praised by police for saving a man from drowning in Scarborough.

Two friends who had gone for a day out to the seaside to enjoy some fish and chips have spoken of the moment they saved a man's life in a dramatic rescue operation.

Dylan Foster, 18, and Joe Brooke, 28, from Leeds, decided to make the most of the sunny weather on Saturday and travelled to Scarborough where they planned to enjoy a relaxing afternoon, until disaster struck.

North Yorkshire Police have praised the quick-thinking and bravery of Dylan and Joe, whilst the man's father has thanked them for saving his son's life.

North Yorkshire Police have praised the quick-thinking and bravery of Dylan and Joe, whilst the man's father has thanked them for saving his son's life.

Having spent the afternoon on the beach, the pair decided to go and get some fish and chips on the pier at about 4pm. It was there they noticed a man sat on the edge of the pier.

Mr Foster, of Middleton, Leeds said: "We had seen the man sat on the wall when we first got there and then gone to get our fish and chips.

"The next thing we just heard this loud gasp and we both immediately looked over to our left and the guy had fallen over the 10ft drop into the water.

"We both looked at each other in a bit of a panic and then just said 'it's a matter of life or death' and we had to do something to help him."

Acting quickly, Mr Foster tried to gather some rope together to reach the man in the water and alert the RNLI to the man, whilst Mr Brooke jumped into the water to see if he could reach him.

Mr Brooke said: "I didn't really have time to think about what to do, I just knew we had to save the man and I think the adrenaline just hit.

"I am not the best swimmer, but I would like to think if something like this happened to me, someone would do the same.

"I literally threw my wallet and phone out of my pocket and jumped in.

"Dylan was directing me to where the man was and I managed to get to him . I told Dylan to stay where he was because if he jumped in and we had both got into difficulty no one would have known we were there.

"The man was really big and heavy so it was really tough to pull him out of the water."

Within moments, the lifeguards arrived at the scene and together they managed to pull the man to the shore.

By this time the man, who had been face down in the water, had stopped breathing and was given CPR by the lifeguards at the scene.

Mr Brooke said: "I honestly thought he was dead, but the lifeguards and a woman who must have been a nurse were able to give him treatment and used the defibrillator.

"They are the real heroes, we can't take credit away from them, we were just in the right place at the right time."

The man, who is in his 40s, was taken to Scarborough Hospital, where he remains in a critical but stable condition.

Mr Foster said: "We felt euphoric afterwards and we had done our good deed for the day, but at the time it was a mixture of emotions.

"It wasn't nice seeing the man the way he was but I am glad we were able to help him. If it wasn't for us he probably would be dead as there was no one else around at the time and he wouldn't have been seen."

Mr Brooke added: "We are both just so glad he has now been given a fighting chance.

"I have been raised by my mum who always told me to look out for people, that's all that matters in life, and that's what happened on Saturday."

North Yorkshire Police have praised the quick-thinking and bravery of Dylan and Joe, whilst the man's father has thanked them for saving his son's life.

PC Jonathan Dillon, of Scarborough Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: "The two men quickly raised the alarm and entered the water alongside the lifeguards.

"Hospital staff and the man's father are in no doubt that - had it not been for their quick-thinking and selfless actions, along with further rescue assistance from the RNLI lifeboat station staff - his son would certainly not be present with the fighting chance he has today."