TWO men waded into the sea to rescue a woman who is believed to have been trying to commit suicide in front of crowds of stunned onlookers.
Holidaymaker John Burwell and Steve Bushby, manager at Graveley’s restaurant, dashed fully clothed into the water near to West Pier after seeing the woman walk into the sea up to her neck.
Mr Burwell (50) was enjoying a cup of tea and a scone at a cafe on Tuesday afternoon when he saw the drama unfold.
He told the Gazette: “I just noticed there was a woman who seemed to be standing in the sea not doing anything, fully clothed.
“Then she got a bit further in and seemed to be clutching her handbag, I thought there was something strange.”
Mr Burwell, from Hull, raced to the beach and along with Mr Bushby decided they had to go and get her as by this time the water was up to her neck.
When they reached her Mr Burwell said the woman, thought to be in her late 40s but not from the Whitby area, said: “just leave me to drown”.
Mr Bushby said he was working in the kitchen which overlooks the beach and noticed the woman standing at the edge of the water for about 15 minutes.
He said: “I thought it was a bit strange, she went up to her knees and one of the waitresses said she didn’t think it looked right.
“I rang the police and as I was on the phone she went out further and further and I just ran to the beach while still on the phone.”
The coastguard was waiting to meet them when they got back to the safety of the beach and the woman was taken by ambulance to Scarborough Hospital.
Mr Burwell added: “I didn’t think about it, I just knew there was a problem.
“There is a point where you are watching and hope she will come back out and there was a point where I knew she was going in further.
“She had a hospital wristband on and had been discharged but hopefully she will get some treatment and get some help.”
The Humber Coastguard confirmed it had received a 999 call at 1.30pm on Tuesday and the Whitby coastguards and the RNLI inshore lifeboat were scrambled.