Team GB pentathlete helps drowning swimmer after hearing her screams

Team GB pentathlete helps bring drowning swimmer safely to shore after hearing her screams as he walked his dog on New Year’s Day

  • Martin Murray, , was on Pendower beach, Cornwall when he heard shouting 
  • Mr Murray, who lives near Ruan High Lanes, guided the swimmer to safety
  • He regularly competes abroad with Team GB and got a gold medal in 2019
  • Mr Murray warned people about the dangers of open water swimming in winter

A Team GB champion helped rescue a screaming woman who almost drowned on New Year’s Day. 

Martin Murray was on an early morning dog walk on Pendower beach, Cornwall, when he heard a screaming from a swimmer who was struggling in the water. 

Vicious waves prevented the trapped woman from safely travelling back to shore as they swept her towards treacherous rocks.

After alerting the coastguard, Mr Murray, a dentist who lives in near Ruan High Lanes, guided the swimmer to calmer waters upshore.

Martin Murray was on an early morning dog walk on New Year’s Day when he heard screaming from a struggling swimmer 

Mr Murray helped rescue the swimmer on Pendower beach, Cornwall (pictured), by guiding the swimmer to safety

He said: ‘When I got out to her she was completely disorientated and exhausted.

‘I don’t mind admitting it was a pretty hairy experience fighting those waves to get her safely back to shore.

‘Luckily this lady, an experienced local swimmer, was wearing a wetsuit which kept her afloat until I could get to her.’

Mr Murray is a pentathlon GB international athlete who holds British titles in triathlon and laser run. 

He regularly competes abroad with the GB squad and led his category team to a gold medal in 2019. 

Despite open water swimming being an integral part of his own sport, Murray himself prefers to stay out of the Cornish sea at this time of year.

He confines his training for the upcoming European Triathlete Championships in Germany to the warmth and safety of an indoor pool.

He said: ‘Cornwall’s beaches are amazing, but for me in winter time they are strictly for run training only.’

His advice to anyone getting into the sea at this time of year is to wear a wetsuit and use a tow-bag.

‘There has been a big increase in open water swimming in the last few years and many people might be tempted to give sea swimming a go in January to blow off the Christmas excesses.

‘Strong winter currents and cold temperatures can quickly deplete even the most accomplished swimmer,’ added Mr Murray.

The athlete also asked urged local beach walkers to keep an eye on anyone swimming even on calm days.

He added: ‘A swimmer waving to shore is usually a sign that they are in trouble.

‘Call 999 and ask for the coastguard.

‘It was amazing to see how quickly the coastguard summoned a rescue helicopter and a team from their Portscatho base to come to our aid.’

The Falmouth inshore lifeboat crew were paged at 10.14am to a report of the swimmer in the water waving for help at Pendower.

The station’s lifeboat launched but stood down before arriving on scene due to Mr Murray’s speedy help.

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