The Sea King – Coastguard Rescue Helicopter
One of the luckiest people I know, and not in terms of his catches, is my old friend Paul Lobley from Middlesborough. I know this story well as it was a friend of mine – Les Mcguire who rescued him. Paul had been walking onto the East Pier back in the days the outer extension was still open. From memory it was a foggy evening. Paul had probably gone into automatic mode having walked onto the pier a thousand times before (remember my earlier comment about complacency ?).
At the point where the old stone pier dog legs, just before the lighthouse, Paul made a serious misjudgement and walked straight off the edge of the pier. In many ways Paul was lucky because the tide was out. Had it been high tide, with a big swell running, Paul would most certainly have drown in the water there and then.
In other ways Paul wasn’t so Lucky. He hit the scaur below very hard. So hard in-fact he broke many bones. Screaming for help and with an incoming tide, Paul dragged himself to the old Spa Ladder which was a bridge that connected the pier to the Haggerylthe above. There was no Ramp and walkway down to the pier in those days.
Paul found himself at the bottom of the spa ladder laid in water with the tide coming in. There was no way over the spa ladder for Paul, it was too high to climb with his sustained injuries. Once again Luck was on Paul’s side that night, someone was looking out for him.
My good friends Les and Rose Mcguire lived on Sandside back then. They had gone to bed earlier but Les had been watching Match of The Day on tv. It was a warm Saturday night and Les had left the bedroom window open.
As the football finished on TV, Les had got out of bed to turn off the TV and close the bedroom window. Les described to me, hearing a faint shout for help which Rose had felt would be the towns youngsters messing about on Tate Hill Beach as they do most Saturday nights.
Thankfully Les decided to go out and look, and as he got on Tate Hill Beach he saw it was empty there, but he could here Pauls screams for help. Les quickly went back home to tell Rose to get the police, Ambulance, Coastguard etc, then he went to find the person clearly in distress.
Thankfully Les found Paul and effectively saved his life. The emergency services came and took Paul to Hospital. Although not a funny situation but Rose did make me chuckle when she explained Les later came past on a second stretcher and was carted off to hospital himself in the middle of an asthma attack. Poor Les was a lifelong Miner and suffered coalminers lung as his reward from Maggie Thatcher for his lifetime of effort in the mines.
So theres another story of near tragedy. Speaking to Paul recently I know he still suffers the pains related to that accident to this day. But thankfully he survived and went on to catch many more cod since that horrendous day in his life. Like all true rock anglers, the fall never put him off and he has been back on the pier and rocks many times since that day, Several other anglers haven’t been so lucky.
To diversify slightly, the risks of angling are not only found in Rock Angling. There are many stories of accidents amongst boat and kayak anglers. Over the years Ive heard stories of anglers having heart- attacks miles from shore whilst out charter fishing. Other anglers have been caught out by the weather whilst out in their boats or kayaks.
You can always find sympathy for the local angler who didn’t recognise the poisonous weaver fish and then went into anaphylactic shock on his kayak at Runswick Bay once it stung him. Conversely its difficult to find any sympathy at all for the idiot who came from inland and tried to kayak out of Runswick Bay in a 9ft Northerly Swell. Later saying to the lifeboat team who rescued him “Well I came all the way here and felt I should give it a go”. In my eyes these are the sort of people who give us all a bad name.
Im now going to write about the saddest part of our sport. The Days we loose someone. Im sure most anglers from our immediate area will be very much aware of the sad loss of Nigel Savage from the cliffs where he had been fishing near Cloughton. The post on our forum does not make for happy reading but its does outline the events pretty much as they happened that day.
The post to the forum by Andy Barmby from Bridlingon perhaps being the most chilling to read. It brings a tear to my eye now as I read it through. – “I have just been talking to crazy horse’s (Nigel’s) wife and it is him who is missing – Nigel Savage. He failed to come home at 9.30 last night and the police /coast guards found one of his dogs at the top of the cliffs near his rucksack and his other dog on a ledge nearby. Im not quite sure exacatly where this happened but it sounds like he was between Burniston and Cloughton. The police and coastgaurd are still searching for him. I hope he is cuddled up under the cliffs somewhere.
Sadly Nigel was never found. He is sadly missed by the local angling community. His good friend Andy Barmby runs several charity events each year in memory of Nigel’s life. When an angler dies, all of us feel the pain deep inside, I know I am at this moment in time going back through these old forum posts.
RIP Nigel Savage !!!
Details of some other tragedies on the coast can be found in a recent forum topic on the subject at this link here.