Man saves children from sea

A MAN was hailed for his bravery today after he dramatically rescued two children from drowning off the Felixstowe seafront.

A MAN was hailed for his bravery today after he dramatically rescued two children from drowning off the Felixstowe seafront.

Stuart Avery, 36, was walking along the beach with his wife Kerry and their two children, together with a friend and her child, when they saw a young girl and boy in the water.

“We saw these kids playing quite close to us and then we noticed them bobbing past,” he said.

“The girl looked up and we shouted to see if she was OK. It was obvious that she was not because she kept going under the water and then started shouting for help.

“Our friend ran off to find someone with a mobile phone because we did not have ours with us and I stripped off and went in to pull the girl out.

“I swam out to them and pulled her back to shore and he managed to get himself together and swam back.”

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Mr Avery, an insurance broker who lives in Felixstowe, said he had to swim out about 40 yards in order to reach the pair.

The girl, who was about nine or ten, told Mr Avery that the boy, believed to be about 13, was teaching her how to swim.

When the children reached the shore they went to an elderly lady who was on the promenade who Mr Avery thinks was possibly asleep.

He said that without him and his wife noticing the children it could have been a disaster and said he had no reservations about going into the water.

“I am a reasonably strong swimmer so I had no reservation about going in, but what else can you do?”

“I know there is the coastguard but it would probably have been too late. I think potentially there could have been a disaster because had we not spotted them they would have drifted out.”

Mr Avery's wife Kerry said that her husband jumped into the water “without a thought for himself”.

“It's to him that they owe their lives, one of those situations where we were pleased we were there,” she said, before adding: “I just hope the children concerned are so much more careful in the future.”

Do you have someone to thank for a rescue or helping out in a tough situation? What do you think? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk