Exmouth man meets his sea rescuer

A RELIEVED Exmouth man who cheated death after nearly drowning out at sea has met up with his brave rescuer to thank him for saving his life.

In a dramatic chain of events, Steven Lockyer, a devoted Christian, struggled to swim back ashore after entering stormy waters near Orcombe Point two weeks ago to save his dog, Teddy, who also got stuck in the sea.

Facing strong waves, he managed to rescue his pet but then Mr Lockyer was pulled back out as a result of the powerful tide.

Lacking energy, it looked as though he was fighting a losing battle – until David Freer, of Denmark Road, saved the day and rescued him.

Mr Lockyer, after recovering from the traumatic experience, visited Mr Freer, manager of the Exmouth Boots store, to pass on his thanks.

He said: “David’s a great guy. He should be given a bravery award, without a doubt. We will be friends I’m sure, for a long time.

“God has never let me down before and not this time either. He got David to pull me out, just in time and found me within seconds of my life being lost.”

Most Read

Before the incident, Mr Freer, 46, was out walking along Orcombe Point with his family.

Recalling the drama, he described Steven to have been more than 250 feet away from where he was standing at the time and around 30 or 40 feet away from the rocks at Rodney Bay.

Mr Freer, said because of the high tide, he had no option but to swim out to Rodney Bay, get on the rocks and dive in from there before going out to sea.

He added: “When I got to the cove, I could see this guy who had lost all his energy. He wasn’t using his arms or legs, he was just floating there.

“Every time the waves came in it was forcing him back to sea again.”

Mr Freer, speaking about his reunion with Steven, said: “I was at work on the shop floor. I looked up and there he was.

“He started holding my hand and said a big thank you. I think we will be friends forever. One of the things he wants us to do is take me and my wife out for dinner.”

Mr Lockyer was told by medics after the incident that he had been in the sea for 30 seconds longer and if it wasn’t for David’s help, the situation could have been fatal.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter