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Lifeboat hunts for river-crossing dad
2:20pm Monday 4th November 2013 in News
AN “inebriated” dad sparked a massive search after he decided to swim accross a river in the early hours of the morning.
An RNLI lifeboat was dispatched shortly before 2am yesterday after the alarm was raised by the man’s terrified daughter, who had watched as her father plunged into the freezing water. They had intended to take the floating bridge over the River Medina on the Isle of Wight from Cowes to East Cowes, in the early hours of Saturday, only to find it had stopped for the night. But the 52-year-old dad then decided to swim to the other bank, although the daughter had no indication that he had succeeded and managed to drag himself from the water.
A lifeboat, with Neil Archer at the helm, was soon on the scene, and with the aid of its powerful searchlights began a thorough search underneath the Red Funnel vehicle jetty.
The crew then heard moaning coming from Venture Quay. Crewman Will Kind said the man was lucky to be alive.
“We saw a man wandering about, thoroughly soaked to the skin and shivering,” he said.
“He stank of alcohol and could hardly talk except to say over and over again ‘sorry for the inconvenience’. “He had managed to cling to the quay jetty and pull himself up.”
Will, who is a hospital doctor, tried to warm the man up as the lifeboat rushed him to Trinity Landing at Cowes.
There shore-based coastguards were waiting to assist in his transfer to a waiting ambulance.
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