Man rescued from sea by police after jumping in off Hastings harbour arm

POLICE officers had to rescue a man from the sea after he jumped in.

They received reports that a man was walking in the Wellington Square area yesterday (Thursday) at around 2.20pm with what appeared to be a sword.

He was then spotted walking towards the harbour arm behind the Lifeboat Station.

Unarmed officers found him on a jetty off Marine Parade and began to talk to him, securing the area to ensure there was no danger to the public.

He indicated several times that he wanted to take his own life but at no stage was there any threat to the public.

After around 30 minutes of negotiation he put the weapon down and it was taken away by officers, but minutes later the man jumped into the sea.

PC Steve Kimber immediately jumped in after him and held him safely while both were rescued within moments by the inshore lifeboat. Neither man was injured.

A 49-year old local man was arrested on suspicion of possession of an offensive weapon, and affray, and is currently in custody for interview and further enquiries.

Chief Inspector Heather Keating said: “This was very good work by our officers who responded swiftly, contained the situation, and convinced the man to give up the weapon without any struggle.

“PC Kimber also acted bravely in jumping into a heavy sea swell near dangerous concrete substructures, to help bring the man to safety.

“The was a very large swell. We also had excellent co-operation from the Coastguard and the RNLI in-shore lifeboat crew.

“We have also received praise for the actions of our officers from members of the public who were watching.”