United Kingdom

Hero, 22, dies after jumping into sea to save stranger

A 22-year-old man has died after jumping into the sea to save a stranger's life in Blackpool.

Alex Gibson entered the water close to North Pier at around 4.20am on Friday after spotting a man in distress before he, in turn, got in to difficultly.

Emergency services rushed to help Alex with HM Coastguard Fleetwood, HM Coastguard Lytham, RNLI Fleetwood, RNLI Blackpool, and a Coastguard rescue helicopter all looking for him.  

Alex was taken to Blackpool Victoria Hospital but sadly passed away.

It is understood the other man eventually crawled out of the sea. 

The tragedy comes as the MetOffice warned that the weather will be increasingly changeable in the coming days. 

Alex Gibson entered the water close to North Pier at around 4.20am on Friday after spotting a man in distress before he, in turn, got in to difficultly

Alex had worked at C Fresh Fish and Chips with the shop shutting for the day on Friday after hearing of his death.

In a tribute, the business posted: 'Alex was truly an amazing young man.

'All his friends would agree that he was intelligent, hardworking, pleasant, caring, and literally wouldn't hurt a fly.

'He is a true hero, drowned sacrificing his life to help another. He was loved by all his work colleagues, and we miss him terribly.

'Tragically taken at 22. My heart goes out to all his family.'

Blackpool pub boss Hamish Howitt has since launched a GoFundMe page to raise funds for Alex's family and help pay for funeral costs.

Hamish wrote: 'The beautiful Alex Gibson, 22, a true hero sacrificed his life last night in Blackpool, rescuing a boy from the sea.

'A beautiful, caring, loving, son, brother and friend to all who knew him.

'Please help by donating for a beautiful send off for a true hero. First £500 will be donated by our family. God bless to all.'

Emergency services rushed to help Alex with HM Coastguard Fleetwood, HM Coastguard Lytham, RNLI Fleetwood, RNLI Blackpool, and a Coastguard rescue helicopter all looking for him. Pictured: North Pier

As of Sunday morning, more than £3,673 had been raised in two days.

A public memorial service is now set to take place on August 7 at North Pier to remember Alex, starting at 7pm.

Organiser Siobhan Rosie said: 'This is a memorial for Alex Gibson; the kindest, bravest soul there ever was.

'He was loved and will continue to be loved by everyone. Give flowers, balloons and bucket hats.

'Let's show Alex the love and how proud we are for saving a life.'

A HM coastguard spokesman said: 'We attended an incident in Blackpool at that time (the early hours of Friday). We received a call from Lancashire Police with an update on the casualty, and it was confirmed that he died. 

'As it was a fatality, the police will be responsible for dealing with it.'

The tragedy comes as the MetOffice warned that the weather will be increasingly changeable in the coming days. 

Bodyboarders were pictured braving the waves in rough seas at Fistral beach in Newquay earlier this week

The tragedy comes as the MetOffice warned that the weather will be increasingly changeable in the coming days. Pictured: Lifeguards put out flags at Fistral beach

For the rest of today, it has forecast sunny spells for most areas but with scattered showers breaking out over parts of England and Wales.

But it warned heavy showers over southern England would likley lead to rumbles of thunder this afternoon. 

The MetOffice also warned that the heavy downpours could result in lots of spray on the roads and urged drivers to take care when travelling.

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