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Street sweeper saves girls from drowning - then goes back to work

PUBLISHED: 07:46 31 August 2017 | UPDATED: 20:11 31 August 2017

Terry Money, from North Walsham, has been hailed a hero. Picture: Facebook

Terry Money, from North Walsham, has been hailed a hero. Picture: Facebook

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A selfless street sweeper has been hailed a hero after he dived into the sea to save two girls from drowning during his rounds in a North Norfolk seaside resort.

Visitors enjoy Sheringham beach and promenade in the sun. Picture: Robina Churchyard Visitors enjoy Sheringham beach and promenade in the sun. Picture: Robina Churchyard

Terry Money, who works for Aylsham-based Kier Environmental Services, was tidying up the East Promenade in Sheringham when he spotted the youngsters, believed to be aged 12 and 15, struggling to stay afloat on a large yellow inflatable duck, as a crowd gathered to watch them from the shore.

He sent one youth to the lifeguard station to raise the alarm before grabbing a lifebuoy and running down to the beach.

With the girls beginning to panic as they drifted out to sea, the quick-thinking 55-year-old, from North Walsham, stripped off his work clothes and swam out to meet them, as another member of the public secured the rope to dry land. However, as he got near, the girls fell in to the water and he had to direct them to swim towards him until they grabbed hold of the ring and they were pulled back to shore.

Praising Mr Money’s actions, local residents Jeannie and Terry Read said: “We were amazed at his act of bravery and how humble a gentleman he was, but we actually think he is quite a local hero.”

They added: “Once on dry land, Terry’s only request was a phone call to his workplace to come out with some dry trousers to continue his day job of keeping the prom clean.”

The street cleaner’s heroics are made all the more remarkable after it emerged he suffers from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, which makes it difficult for him to breath.

Recalling the summer holiday drama, Mr Money, who was pushing his bin barrow at the time, said: “Knowing that we were having an offshore wind with gusts of up to 40 mph, I felt fear for them.

“I stripped down to my trousers and another chap came and asked if he could help. I passed the rope attached to the ring and said ‘feed it out’ and ‘pull when I say’. I then swam out to the inflatable .

“When I got close to the two young girls they jumped into the sea and started to swim to me. I kept telling them come to me. Then I told to hold on the ring.

“I shouted ‘pull’ when I noticed that the chap on the rope was nearly chest high in the water and we all got back to shore safety.

“I walked back to the life guards hut to get my breath back as I suffer from COPD.” But he added: “When I did, I phoned the office for another pair of trousers. When they arrived I changed into them and carried on working keeping the prom and beach tidy.”

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