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Saturday, 25 December, 1999, 09:25 GMT
Man dies after river plunge

Dead man spent an hour in the freezing River Mersey


A man swept off a promenade into the river Mersey after ignoring severe weather warnings died in hospital early on Christmas Day.

The unnamed man, who spent almost an hour in the freezing water before being spotted by a rescue helicopter, died after a suspected heart attack.

He was one of two men swept off the promenade at New Brighton on the Wirral, in 70mph winds early on Saturday morning.



Sadly, despite our warning of the dangers of the seafront we are still seeing this kind of incident.
Coastguard Don McDonald
A doorman from nearby Chelsea Reach nightclub managed to rescue the dead man's friend after staff from the club had raised the alarm at around 0045 GMT.

He is still being treated in hospital for hypothermia.

Coastguards said weather conditions at the time were "extremely dangerous."

Don McDonald, a spokesman for Liverpool Coastguard, which co-ordinated the operation, said: "The first man was recovered from the sea shortly afterwards by a doorman from the club.

"However, it wasn't until nearly an hour later that the second casualty was recovered from the water."

The search was mounted by police and RAF helicopters and lifeboat rescue teams from Hoylake and New Brighton.

Mr McDonald added: "Sadly, despite our warning of the dangers of the seafront we are still seeing this kind of incident.

"We cannot overemphasise the danger of going too close to the sea's edge in the kind of weather we are currently experiencing."

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See also:
25 Dec 99 |  UK
Coastline suffers storm damage
24 Dec 99 |  UK
Trains stranded as floods hit
24 Dec 99 |  Scotland
Guard hurt in Christmas gales
20 Dec 99 |  UK
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