Burnley artist captures footage of man swimming in Irish Sea at Blackpool moments before he is rescued by RNLI

This is the moment a Burnley artist captured footage on her phone of a man in the Irish Sea before he was rescued by RNLI volunteers on Bank Holiday Sunday.

By Sue Plunkett
Wednesday, 4th May 2022, 7:23 pm

Janet Whitley was enjoying a quiet drink on the North Pier, taking photos of the sunset, when she suddenly spotted the man. She said: “I saw something bobbing around in the water and then I realised it was a man.

"I couldn’t believe it at first as he was quite far out and although the sun was just setting it must have been so cold in the water and I noticed he wasn’t wearing a top.”

Janet alerted her musician husband Scott to the man and the duo, who are regular visitors to the resort, became concerned for his safety.

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Janet Whitley, an artist from Burnley, captured phone footage of a man in the Irish Sea at Blackpool before he was rescued by the RNLI

Janet added: “It just didn’t feel right, he never once looked back to the shore and we were becoming extremely concerned at that point.”

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As more people became aware of the man in the water pier officials arrived and the RNLI was alerted. The casualty was discovered a quarter of a mile off the pier before being picked up in the boat at 10.45pm and taken safely ashore.

It has not been revealed how the person came to be in the water. A spokesman for Blackpool RNLI said: “Our RNLI volunteers were called out at 8.45pm and launched to a person in the sea off North Pier.

"They found the person a quarter of a mile off the pier and took him back to the lifeboat station."

Janet added: “The RNLI did an amazing job and I hope the man is ok physically and mentally.”