An elderly disabled army veteran who was trapped on his mobility scooter in the sea with waterswirling up to his chest says he was lucky to survive.
Geoff Burgon, 73, of Wilson Grove, Heysham, was throwing a ball for his dog Poppy on the beach at Sunny Slopes Heysham when his mobility scooter got stuck in some soft sand.
Before he knew it, the tide was lapping round his scooter and because he only has use of his right side due to a stroke, he was unable to move the scooter.
Geoff said: “I was very lucky, it was a freak thing that happened. The tide was whipping round my scooter and it just kept sinking deeper . It was only minutes before the water was round the scooter.I couldn’t climb over the rocks. My wife phoned the emergency services. The fire crew got me off my scooter and put me on a board. They then had to carry me over the rocks.
“I was wet but I have been colder. The ambulance crew said I was half a degree from getting hypothermia.
“My trousers and coat were soaked and I was soaked to the skin.In the ambulance they took all my clothes off and wrapped me in a thermal blanket.
“I can’t praise the emergency services enough. I was wearing a Manchester City hat and all the firemen were Man Utd fans and they were joking that if they had known that I was a fan they would have left me there.
“I just want to make peoeple more aware that the tide comes in so fast, as Cedric Robinson said the tide comes, in ‘as fast as a horse can run.”
Wife Jenny, 69, realised Georff was in trouble but was helpless to do anything as she uses a mobility scooter as well.
She said: “I noticed the tide was coming in very quickly ao I shouted to Geoff ‘quick, get off the beach’ but by then the scooter was stuck.It was horrific to watch, that five minutes or so seemed like a month. I’m still very shaken, it has really knocked the stuffing out of me.
“To add insult to injury when we went back to rescue the scooter, someone had vandalised it by taking the seat off and removing the batteries.
“The scooter has had to be taken away for repairs and to be dried out to see if it can be salvaged.What can you say about people like that? “
Fire crews were called out to the beach near Whinnysty Lane at 10.55am on Wednesday to rescue Geoff. Three firefighters managed to get him off his scooter and on to dry land where he was treated by paramedics