An off-duty fireman enjoying a seaside holiday switched back into rescue mode when he saved the lives of two children who nearly drowned off the north Norfolk coast.

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Jim Golder has been praised for his bravery after dragging to shore a nine-year-old girl and a six-year-old boy who were struggling to stay above the water at Sea Palling on Friday afternoon.

The 49-year-old Suffolk firefighter said he is “convinced” the boy would have drowned had he not spotted them.

Mr Golder, who was holidaying with his wife Debbie, 43, and daughter Izzy, 12, soon realised the pair were in trouble.

He said: “They were around 60m out and were clearly struggling, so I just ran in without thinking.

“As I was approaching the boy I saw him twice go under. He grabbed hold of my neck and then I got hold of the girl who was nearby.

“It was actually quite difficult then trying to swim back to shore, especially when your feet can’t touch the ground. It was scary.

“But I got going and as we approached the shore another man ran in and helped bring the kids to safety.”

He said the parents of another 12-year-girl meant to be watching over the pair came running over.

“They thanked me for what I did but I want to warn people who use this beach of the dangers of the strong tide, and to make sure children swimming at any beach are being watched like a hawk all the time,” Mr Golder said.

Sam Kendrick, North Norfolk’s RNLI area lifeguard supervisor, said Mr Golder’s quick-thinking action saved the lives of the two children.

“He pulled the children out of difficulty and saved their lives,” Mr Kendrick added. “He did a fantastic job.

“We always recommend people to swim within the flags at the beach.”

An East of England Ambulance Service spokesman said the children were treated for minor injuries.

“They were left in the care of their families and made their own way to hospital,” he added.

A Maritime and Coastguard Agency spokesman warned swimmers to stay within the flagged area and to listen to the advice of the lifeguards.


  • Swimming in the of the safest activities in Norfolk. Many more people drown in the bath than swimming in the what do we do.....ban baths or put flags at each end and have a lifeguard standing by the bath?

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    Monday, September 2, 2013

  • Thought they were talking about Mr LAZY Jamie Edgh1ll for a moment !!!!

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    Sunday, September 1, 2013

  • it just beggars belief that anyone would let a child swim out of their depth at Sea Palling or let children this young be in the waves unattended. It does not matter if they are swimming between the flags ( which is a very small distance) if they go too far out. I said it last week and still maintain that the beach is promoted as a beach by several organisations, which is very nice, but it is not a family beach in terms of kids being able to splash about in relative safety. There are too many spots where if they get out of their depth or are weak swimmers they can get in trouble. When families find a space on a beach they are likely to allow their kids into the water at that point-there simply is not enough space on busy days between the lifeguarded points. There should be more notices to tell people the dangers and to advise that kids should paddle and wade only and not try to swim. One day it will be some brave person like this chap who loses their life trying to rescue kids in trouble

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    Daisy Roots

    Sunday, September 1, 2013

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