Gorleston man searching for boy he saved from collapsed sand dunes 30 years ago
PUBLISHED: 12:43 16 April 2019 | UPDATED: 23:02 16 April 2019
A man who rescued a boy buried up to his ankles in collapsed sand dunes on a beach in north Norfolk 30 years ago has launched an appeal to track him down.
Paul Dallimore, 64, from Gorleston, was walking with his partner on Holkham beach in 1989 when he pulled the boy, who would now be in his 30s, from the sand.
Mr Dallimore's memory of the event was jogged when he read a story about a nine-year-old boy pulled from the River Bure in Great Yarmouth almost 38 years ago.
He was walking with his then girlfriend, now wife, along the strand on the seaward side of the sand dunes.
“There was a cold breeze coming in from the sea, so all the people were sitting on the other side of the dunes to protect themselves from the wind,” Mr Dallimore said.
They were both chatting as they walked when Mr Dallimore noticed a child digging into the dunes about 100 yards away.
“All I could see were his ankles,” he said.
He pointed the child out to his partner.
“I told her, 'He doesn't know how dangerous that is',” he said.
He said he thought he would warn the boy to stop digging in the fragile sand dunes.
“I kept my eyes on him as we approached,” he said.
But Mr Dallimore was about 40 yards away when the dunes collapsed and buried the boy up to his ankles.
“I dropped what I was carrying and ran to him, taking hold of his ankles and pulling as hard as I could, and out he came.”
He used a towel to brush the sand from the boy's face.
“The boy was very quiet for a minute or two, probably in shock, before he gave out a loud scream and ran off in the direction of his parents who were out of sight,” he said.
Over the years Mr Dallimore has wondered what the boy is doing now.
He said he was probably around nine or ten years old at the time, most likely would now be in his 30s and could have been from a family visiting Norfolk on their holidays.
“We were the only people that side of the dunes and had we had not been there he would have died,” Mr Dallimore said.
“Someone was certainly looking out for him that day.”
Do you know the boy who was rescued from the dunes that day?