Pier workers help to save teenager's life

by Nigel Brown Jul 27 2018 3     10,915
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July 27, 2018


Pier workers Przemek Jakiela and Amy Bayliss were today praised for helping to save the life of a teenage boy who got into difficulty swimming off the beach at Clacton.

A member of the public raised the alarm yesterday evening and Stuart Duff, who works on Clacton Pier, sent out a Code 1 message to call for assistance.

Mr Jakiela, who has worked in the amusement arcade on the attraction for the past eight years, was the first to get to the scene and was helped by Amy Bayliss who works at the Boardwalk bar.

Mr Jakielka threw one of the Pier’s lifebelts over the side to the youngster but due to the wind and currents was unable to reach him.

He threw the belt a number of times before the teenager was able to grab hold and Mr Jakiela kept a firm grip of the rope – along with Miss Bayliss - until an RNLI crew managed to pull the youngster out of the water and bring him ashore.

Nigel Brown, Clacton Pier’s Communications Manager, said that but for staff’s swift actions and persistence it could have been a different story.

“The lifebelts are relatively heavy and it was difficult conditions but Przemek persisted with throwing the belt – around ten to 12 times – until he managed to get it to the lad,” he said.

“We cannot say what might have happened had he not got the belt to him but there would definitely have been less time to the lifeboat to get to him. He was pretty exhausted already, struggling to stay above the water and waving his arms.

“Przemek is a very reluctant hero, but a hero none the less and he helped to save the youngster’s life.  Amy also played a significant role helping to hang on to the rope.”

Mr Jakiela continued his shift at the Pier before leaving at 9pm.

“I was just doing my job and what we have been trained to do if anything like this happens,” he said.

“Other members of staff, including Amy, also came along to assist and luckily the lifeboat was able to get to the lad, pull him into their boat and bring him ashore.”

Mr Jakiela added that even though the teenager had the belt he was still being dragged under the Pier by the currents.

A second youngster was also in the water at the same time with the other teenager but nothing could be done to rescue him.

“As I got there I just saw his head go under and he disappeared and did not come back up again,” said Mr Jakiela, a 40-year-old father of three who lives in Clacton. “There was just nothing we could do for him.”

Managing Director Billy Ball said that the Pier had recently put in new lifebelts which are each in an enclosed plastic case so they cannot be removed by others.

“We unfortunately had a number of belts taken and thrown away by vandals in the past and it was becoming a serious problem,” he added”.

“The new equipment was put in a year ago and has proved invaluable on this occasion.”

Mr Ball also praised Przemek and Amy’s efforts and said that the thoughts and prayers of everyone at the Pier are with the family and friends of the missing teenager.

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