Pier workers help to save teenager’s life

  • 27 July, 2018
  • In the community
  • Local activities


Pier workers Przemek Jakiela and Amy Bayliss were today praised for
helping to save the life of a teenage boy who got into difficulty swimming off
the beach at Clacton.

A member of the public raised the alarm yesterday evening and Stuart Duff,
who works on Clacton Pier, sent out a Code 1 message to call for assistance.

Mr Jakiela, who has worked in the amusement arcade on the attraction for
the past eight years, was the first to get to the scene and was helped by Amy
Bayliss who works at the Boardwalk bar.

Mr Jakielka threw one of the Pier’s lifebelts over the side to the
youngster but due to the wind and currents was unable to reach him.

He threw the belt a number of times before the teenager was able to grab
hold and Mr Jakiela kept a firm grip of the rope – along with Miss Bayliss –
until an RNLI crew managed to pull the youngster out of the water and bring him

Nigel Brown, Clacton Pier’s Communications Manager, said that but for
staff’s swift actions and persistence it could have been a different story.

“The lifebelts are relatively heavy and it was difficult conditions but
Przemek persisted with throwing the belt – around ten to 12 times – until he
managed to get it to the lad,” he said.

“We cannot say what might have happened had he not got the belt to him
but there would definitely have been less time to the lifeboat to get to him.
He was pretty exhausted already, struggling to stay above the water and waving
his arms.

“Przemek is a very reluctant hero, but a hero none the less and he
helped to save the youngster’s life.  Amy
also played a significant role helping to hang on to the rope.”

Mr Jakiela continued his shift at the Pier before leaving at 9pm.

“I was just doing my job and what we have been trained to do if anything
like this happens,” he said.

“Other members of staff, including Amy, also came along to assist and
luckily the lifeboat was able to get to the lad, pull him into their boat and
bring him ashore.”

Mr Jakiela added that even though the teenager had the belt he was still
being dragged under the Pier by the currents.

A second youngster was also in the water at the same time with the other
teenager but nothing could be done to rescue him.

“As I got there I just saw his head go under and he disappeared and did
not come back up again,” said Mr Jakiela, a 40-year-old father of three who
lives in Clacton. “There was just nothing we could do for him.”

Managing Director Billy Ball said that the Pier had recently put in new
lifebelts which are each in an enclosed plastic case so they cannot be removed
by others.

“We unfortunately had a number of belts taken and thrown away by vandals
in the past and it was becoming a serious problem,” he added”.

“The new equipment was put in a year ago and has proved invaluable on
this occasion.”

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