Devon swimmer saved from drowning by his Croc shoe

Devon swimmer saved from drowning by his Croc shoe

A Sidmouth swimmer has told how he almost drowned after becoming tangled in a 20ft fishing line - and his Croc shoe saved him from being seriously injured.

Lawrence King, 66, told the Sidmouth Herald that he felt something wrap around his ankles when he was swimming in the sea.

He said: "I was happily bathing up to shoulder height. It's not unusual, especially in Sidmouth, to feel a bit of seaweed around your ankles. That is what I thought it was. Then I felt something around my left ankle and the nearer I got to the beach, the shorter my stride became."

He added: "I was snared."

Mr King had become tangled in the fishing line, which has around eight sharp hooks - one of which became embedded in the sole of his shoe. The line became tighter with every step he made towards shore, and he needed help from onlooker, Gwendoline Odeluga, to untangle him.

Mr King told the Sidmouth Herald: "I wear Crocs and there was a huge hook embedded in the sole of my left foot. The barbs on those hooks are not meant to come out. If I hadn't had my plastic Crocs on I would have been taken to hospital."

The type fishing line, which is usually used to catch mackerel, is often seen on the beach. As a result of the incident, Mr King is now worried about going back into the water and has warned others to be cautious.

He said: "There is plenty of fishing line on the beach. When you are out of your depth in the water, you don't know what's under there. I was lucky."

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Devon swimmer saved from drowning by his Croc shoe

The good: "Great beach with sand dunes for shelter from the wind and a lovely gentle slope into the water. Nice clean beach."

The bad: "Not really a beach for sunbathing or swimming, but a beautiful place for a walk. Well worth a visit."

Did you know? Oscar-winning actress Tilda Swinton lives in Nairn.

The good: "One of the 10,0000 wonders of the world" raves one Tripadvisor reviewer, while another calls it a "sandcastle makers heaven!"
The bad: "What's all the fuss about? 60's apartments and tacky seaside galore.Did you know? Property here is notoriously pricey. In 2009 a 1,393-square-metre plot was reported to have been put up for sale for £13.5 million. Some houses going for a steal at £7,750,000!

The good: "Just watch the waves all day. Sunny but very windy day which is the best way to see Fistral Beach. Can spend hours walking around the headland then sit and have a drink whilst watching the surfers."
The bad: "Parking restrictions a nightmare."
Did you know? The British Surfing Association, Newquay Surf Life Saving Club and the Newquay Boardriders Club are all based at Fistral Beach and the Boardmasters Festival is also held there.

The good: "It's got sand, and clean sea. Enough said really."
The bad: "All the above reviews are fine - that is if you can find somewhere to sit squashed in among the hoardes."
Did you know? Weymouth was given a Royal seal of approval by King George III. He used to visit during times of illness for a restorative paddle.

The good: "My 'Safe Place'. I must have walked this beach over a hundred times in all weathers and it never fails to amaze me."
The bad: "Why does everywhere you go for a pleasant walk have to be infested with dogs and their stupid owners?"
Did you know: Longsands has its own webcam, so you can check out the weather before you head for the beach, see it here.

The good: "Beautiful beach surrounded by cliffs, large enough to never feel crowded even in peak season. A lovely beach bar on the beach which serves food all day and dog and child friendly."

The bad: "Perranporth Beach is lovely, what a pity about some dog owners who seem to think it is alright to allow their dogs to mess on the beach and then just walk away leaving it where young children are playing."

Did you know? The Perranporth Surf Life Saving Club is one of the oldest in the country and hosts an extreme triathlon event every autumn.

The good: "Hengistbury Head is one of my favourite places in the world. It's one of those spots that restores peace to your mind."
The bad: "A bit bleak and windy, not much to do except pitch and putt."
Did you know? People have been settling at Hegistbury Head since the Stone Age and it has over a million visitors per year.

The good: "Sun, Sea and a secret seal that visits the shore here most days. Family-friendly with lots locally to see and do - like dipping your toes back into 1960's seaside family holidays for the day."
The bad: "Great beach but there are so many more spectacular and less populated beaches in the St Ives area."
Did you know? It's home to the Porthminter Cafe, a multi-award winning seafood restaurant smack bang on the shoreline. 

The good: "Heaven. The nicest beach I've seen in the UK."
The bad: "Get your binoculars out...the sea is over there. The tide was out but there was a disproportionate amount of dry/wet sand (as in miles of wet and a small patch of dry) considering how far out the sea was."
Woolacombe trivia: During the Second World War, the U.S. Army based their Assault Training Centre here. Thousands of small boat crews and infantry practised amphibious landing assaults on the beach because its long flat shape was considered to be like the Omaha Beach landing area.

The good: A "gem in the crown of Gower" has "unbelievable views"; it's "clean and peaceful... "The BEST in the West."... "The most amazing sight on the lovely Gower Coast."

The bad: "It is a lovely beach, but it is more of an adult orientated one, you park your car up the top of the hill and start walking, either down to the beach, or over the cliffs, which if you have children, I would not recommend."

Did you know? Rhossili Bay is located in an area designated as the first Area of Outstanding Beauty in the UK.

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