Reminder, Respect The Water – Message from the volunteer crew of RNLI Blyth’s inshore lifeboat as a male escapes with his life following a near miss with a cargo ship in the river Blyth.

Images and video captured on the inshore lifeboats on-board camera’s show the moments shortly after a male, believed to be under the influence of alcohol, escaped with his life. Narrowly avoiding the 4,000 tonne cargo ship the ‘Karla C’ which was under way in the River Blyth.

The alarm was raised shortly after 3pm by a person on the shore as well as a port employee who was involved in the berthing of the ‘Karla C’ – both of who had seen a person swimming in the water near the cargo ship as she was being escorted by a local pilot vessel to Battleship Wharf in the Port of Blyth.

The ‘Karla C’ which had had travelled over 2,800 miles from the port of Vilanova in Spain was at the time travelling at slow speed and less than one mile from completing her voyage when the incident occurred, even so, there would of been very little the crew could do to avoid the male within the confined space of the river.

Blyth’s inshore lifeboat with three volunteer crew on-board was requested to attend the scene approximately quarter of a mile from the lifeboat station as concern grew over the safety of the person in the water and what might happen if they were left swimming in a working harbour.

Upon arrival the male, who appeared to be under the influence of alcohol, refused assistance from the lifeboat crew and stated ‘i’m coming for a swim in here because its cheaper than the local pool’

The male was advised that he should leave the water as there were other smaller boats working on the river who may not see him in time to avoid him, after a few minutes the male took this advice and made his own way to a set of ladders and climbed out.

Shortly afterwards the male was spoken to by police and the local coastguard team, the lifeboat then left the scene and returned to station.

Blyth RNLI Deputy Launching Authority (DLA) Paul Raine said ‘is it really worth risking your life going swimming in the cold water of a working harbour to save paying a few pounds to visit the local heated swimming pool’.

This call came at the end of a busy week for the RNLI’s volunteer crew at Blyth who as well as attending six call-outs also organised and ran the stations annual quayside family funday raising over £5,000 to allow them to keep saving lives at sea.

Helmet Camera - Male in the water and Karla C in the background Coastguard and police on-scene Karla C in the background as the male swims to a ladder Karla C in the river Blyth as Blyth's inshore lifeboat is lowered into the water