Hero Norwich policeman borrowed jetski to save two stranded swimmers at Sea Palling (and his son saved two more people the next day...)

Craig Smith (left) and Pete Williams (right) with the jet ski used in the Sea Palling rescue. Pictur

Craig Smith (left) and Pete Williams (right) with the jet ski used in the Sea Palling rescue. Picture: Tracey Winter. - Credit: Archant

An off-duty police officer has recalled the dramatic moment he borrowed a friend's jet ski to rescue two stranded swimmers from the sea at a North Norfolk beauty spot.

Sea Palling. Picture: MIKE PAGE

Sea Palling. Picture: MIKE PAGE - Credit: Archant

Former lifeguard Pete Williams, 45, described the dramatic scenes at Sea Palling as a 'close call'. And then revealed his son had to act quickly to save a six-year-old boy and his father from the water the following day.

Mr Williams rescued the pair of stranded swimmers by pulling them onto the back of his jet ski.

A man and a woman, both in their 20s, found themselves in difficulty at around 7pm on Saturday, when attempting to swim back from the reefs in the bay at Sea Palling, and realised they had been cut off by the fast-rising tide.

Mr Williams, from Norwich, said: 'I saw there were two people in trouble. I ran back towards the tractor which brings the jet skis in, and the driver Graham Deary still had my friend Craig Smith's jet ski towed.

Former lifeguard Pete Williams. Picture : ANTONY KELLY

Former lifeguard Pete Williams. Picture : ANTONY KELLY - Credit: copyright ARCHANT 2017


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'We launched the jet ski and I went out to the two youngsters. The pair were clinging onto a pipe which is raised up above the sea bed, about a metre wide. But it was all green and covered in algae so they couldn't hold on well.'

The father-of-two continued: 'The girl couldn't swim at all, so I pulled her onto the back of the ski and threw the boy my life jacket. I took her to the beach and did an initial medical check before going back for the boy.'

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The pair, who were part of a group of five, were both suffering from shock when they returned to the beach and were taken to hospital.

Just a day later, Mr Williams' son, 17-year-old Matthew, was called into action when he pulled a father and his six-year-old son from the water.

Sea Palling in relation to the Norfolk coastline.

Sea Palling in relation to the Norfolk coastline. - Credit: Archant

Mr Williams said: 'The father had walked out to the rocks with his young son on his shoulders, and had also got stuck by the tide.

'My son has been qualified to drive jet skis since he was 14, and luckily was able to get them both back to shore.'

The bay is notorious after 52-year-old Lesek Puchala died whilst swimming at Sea Palling last July.

Mr Williams continued: 'This beach is a safe place to be for a number of factors, for example the RNLI lifeguards, their boats.

'Those people were just really lucky that it all fell into place, if not then I think it would've been a tragic incident.'

Thrill-seekers have been warned to ignore the temptation to climb on the rocks at Sea Palling in an effort to prevent another tragedy.

Mr Williams revealed he and his son rescued six people in two days at the local beauty spot, which is known for its rip tides.

And with more people expected to converge on the coast after Baywatch hits the big screen this weekend, he urged visitors not to swim outside of the lifeguard's flags.

Mr Williams said: 'People are looking for a bit of an extra thrill, they want to explore, and take stupid risks.'

But Keith Griffin, Station officer at HM Coastguard Happisburgh & Mundesley, warned: 'If people keep ignoring the advice on the beach there is possibly going to be more fatalities.

'Our advice is to stay off those rocks, stay away form the riptides. Most of it is simply common sense.'

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