Dad hit by waves after getting leg trapped in rocks trying to rescue his child

A father was left gasping for breath after his leg became trapped in between rocks at a seafront and waves crashed over him, as he tried to rescue his child.

The man, from Southend in Essex, was at Sheringham seafront in Norfolk when one of his children slipped on the rocks.

As he tried to rescue his child, the father also slipped but ended up wedging his leg in between rocks along the steps leading up to the promenade.

The man had a plaster cast on his foot from a previous injury which got caught between the boulders and he was unable to free himself.

As hours passed, the high tide came in and water rose halfway up to his chest as waves engulfed him, leaving him struggling to breathe.

Firefighters arrived at around 6pm and spent four hours trying to manoeuvre his leg out of the rocks as waves crashed over them.

They managed to free him, and he was transported to the Norwich and Norfolk University Hospital for treatment.

Mr Cox, a crew manager for Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service based in Sheringham, said the man was "freezing" by the time he was rescued.

His leg was "quite gashed", but the father managed to speak to rescuers throughout the ordeal, talking about his football team Tottenham Hotspur.

Mr Cox said: "It was down some steps towards the beach and he'd slipped off.

"He'd gone to rescue one of his children who'd actually slipped on the rocks and he had a plaster cast on his foot.

"He'd actually had a previous injury and he'd slipped and it was actually the cast that got wedged between the rocks and the concrete steps and it was the cast that was holding him in place.

"He couldn't move it out.

"High tide was just in, it was then on the turn to go back but it was still at its highest then.

"It was probably halfway up his chest at its highest but it was the waves that came in, that was the problem.

"The waves just kept coming in sets of three and when they hit you they were literally over the top of us.

"I had two of my guys trying to shield him so they were taking a bit of the force to just try to protect his head."

He said they put water rescue equipment on the man and eventually managed to get a firefighter down into a gap in the rocks to help free the man's leg.

"It was a bit of brute force and ignorance.

"We didn't need to break (the rocks).

"When (the firefighter) was in there it was a case of working hard to try and free his leg and move his leg back and that in the end is what we managed to do."

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