Steadfast Group guards’ quick-thinking helps save drowning man

by Graeme Anderson

TWO brave and resourceful Steadfast Group security guards saved the life of a drowning man off Hartlepool’s Headland.

Harry Jones and Jason Cooke were providing security for Hall Construction, which is repairing the sea wall at the Headland, when Harry spotted a man in the water.

They used scaffolding from the site as a makeshift ladder to reach the stricken man whose boat had capsized while fishing with his young nephew on Saturday, April 22.

Harry held the top of the pole in place while Jason edged down the rocks and helped pull the man to safety.



Steadfast Security’s Jason (left) and Harry, holding the scaffold pole they used in their rescue (pic courtesy of Hartlepool Mail)


That wasn’t the end of the rescue though because hypothermia was setting in and after helping pull him out of the water Harry and Jason acted fast to warm him up.

Harry, 64, from Blackhall, said: “At first I thought it might be debris but then I realised it was a person and nearby there was a capsized boat with another person clinging to it.

“I shouted for Jason and we ran down towards the water, we kept calling the coastguard but couldn’t get through because everyone else was calling them, having spotted the same incident.

“It was deep where he was and the tide was coming in. It was quite a height and the tide was hitting the sea wall.”

Eventually they got the distressed man, from Bishop Auckland and aged in his late 30s, out of the water and into a warm cabin where they removed his freezing clothes and wrapped him in coats to get his circulation flowing again before the ambulance arrived.

Jason, of Horden, added: “The coastguard managed to rescue the other person who was hanging on to the boat for dear life.

“But when they got to us they said we had done exactly the right thing in terms of preventing him suffering hypothermia.

“If he hadn’t got out of the water he could have drowned but if we hadn’t kept him warm he could have died of the cold.”

Paul Harbord, Steadfast security director, who passed on a reward from the company of football tickets and shopping vouchers, said: “They were really quick-thinking with the ladder idea. The lads did a great job and they went above and beyond and they are exactly the calibre of guards we want at our company.”

The incident was part of a major rescue operation, involving Hartlepool Coastguard Rescue Team, the RNLI and a pilot vessel, which was launched after a member of the public heard desperate cries for help coming from the boat.

A 999 call reported a small upturned boat and two people waving and shouting for help, close to the lighthouse.

The casualty’s nephew was taken to the lifeboat station before both were taken to University Hospital North Tees where they were treated for secondary drowning caused by water getting into the lungs.

Well done Harry and Jason for showing such alertness and quick-thinking.