Ferry crew praised after saving a man who fell into the Tyne

The Shields Ferry
5 August 2021

The Shields Ferry crew have been praised for their quick thinking after they rescued a man who fell into the Tyne.

Crew members Nathan Williamson, David Purvis and Stephen Patterson performed the rescue after spotting the man in the water about 50 metres off the South landing.

They used a device called a mate saver to pull the man into the ferry, saving his life in the process.

The drama unfolded in near darkness at around 9.15pm on Saturday 31 July. The man appeared to have fallen into the river after taking out a small boat near the mid river buoy. 

The crew brought the ferry alongside carefully and then quickly hooked the man from the water. He was unhurt.

Shields Ferry Manager, Carol Timlin, said: “Our crew did a great job with this rescue. All of the man overboard training that we do kicked in and they undoubtedly saved his life.

“The incident occurred around 9.15pm on Saturday, so it was pretty much dark when the rescue took place. They spotted him in the water about 50 metres off the South Shields landing. 

“The man was pulled to safety on board the ferry. He was unhurt and was taken to the South Shields landing.

“Our crew regularly undertake training for incidents like this and all of that training kicked in. We are relieved to say that the man was plucked from the water alive.

“The incident highlights the dangers of going out on to the River Tyne unprepared. It should serve as a warning that anyone who attempts this is putting their life at risk.” 


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