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Man trapped in rocks with water up to his neck saved after four-hour ordeal

By Jess Glass, PA

A man who was trapped in rocks with water up to his neck was freed after spending nearly four hours in the sea.

Firefighters cut through rocks as they battled to save the man after he trapped his leg near the East Promenade in Sheringham, Norfolk.

Emergency services were called at 5.30pm on Sunday and a co-ordinated rescue effort led by Cromer and Sheringham coastguard managed to save the man after the water rose up to his neck at high tide.

He was given a life jacket and breathing apparatus as his rescuers held his head above water while cutting through the rocks trapping him on the beach.

Norfolk Police, Norfolk Fire and Rescue and the East of England Ambulance Service were at the scene alongside Sheringham RNLI.

The Coastguard tweeted: "The news we've been waiting for: Man trapped in rocks at #Sheringham has been rescued. #AllSafe Well done to everyone involved."

Sam Stockdale, senior maritime operations officer from HM Coastguard, said: "It's such good news that this man has been freed. We often talk about how training matters between the various frontline responders and today has shown just why it does. Everyone worked together on scene to look after the man and also to free him as soon as was practically possible."

Witness Lissy Jackson told PA: "I saw a number of rescue workers at the scene, all crowded round the rocks attempting to free the man. He had an injured/trapped leg so they did not have much success. I later then saw 2 large trucks pull in, with equipment to aid in breaking to rocks to break the man free."

Harry Weaver, a Sheringham resident who lives close to the promenade, told PA he had seen a specialist Hazardous Area Response Team (HART) ambulance heading towards the scene shortly after 8pm.

He said: "The incident itself is blocked from view, I just saw the coastguard fly down at first followed by fire, ambulance and later more specialist fire appliances."

The man was taken to hospital by the East of England Ambulance Service, and no details have been given of his age, or where he is from.

Retired Coastguard station manager Stuart Facey told the North Norfolk News he was walking his dog when the Coastguard arrived.

"I saw someone obviously stuck in the rocks, it was high tide and water was coming over him so it was a very scary situation," he said.

"I've seen people climb into the cavities in the rocks and the problem is that even if you are able to move a rock to free someone who is stuck, another can fall into its place, it can be a life or death situation."

Earlier Zach Pedley, from HM Coastguard, said: "This is a very frightening experience for this man.

"Thankfully someone knew to call 999 and ask for the Coastguard which meant we could send the right response immediately. Everyone is working together at the scene to keep him calm and safe."

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