This is the moment an illegal immigrant was hauled to safety by a fishing boat after he tried to escape police – by jumping in the SEA.
The 34-year-old Chinese man had fled a police station and ran three quarters of a mile with border control officers in hot pursuit.
He ran along a promenade and when he was eventually cornered he hurled himself off a sea wall in front of stunned holidaymakers.
The unnamed man was then pulled to safety by three officers who commandeered a local fishing boat.
Officers say the man scarpered after attending an immigration bail hearing with the UK Border Agency at a police station in Torquay, Devon, at 10.30am on Wednesday.
Following his aquatic antics he was arrested on suspicion of working illegally in the UK and taken back to the station in handcuffs.
A police spokesman said: ”About a dozen officers were involved in the incident. We caught up with him on the seafront and he had nowhere to go so he jumped in the sea.
”There was no rush to enter the water to effect a rescue because he was trying to avoid arrest.
”We were happy he was not in any danger, so we monitored him while three officers made their way to the scene on the boat to pull him out of the water.
”The tide was out and the water was about 6ft deep at that point. It was quite a spectacle for the 300 people there.
”At one point he was shouting and screaming for help, but more for effect than anything else.”
The man was pulled from the sea by three officers and fishing skipper Barry Setchfield on board his boat the Coral Star
Barry said: ”The beach patrol came up to me and said they needed some help so I told them I was free for the next half hour.
”Little did I know that it was police activity I were being dragged into. I picked up three officers and made off at eight and a half knots towards the fugitive.
”The officers told us we weren’t allowed to touch him and we had to leave it up to them. They were all wearing life jackets and they picked him out of the water.
”He was very tired and glad to get on board. It looked like he was bordering on hypothermia.”
One witness said the man was lucky not to have been hurt as the water was quite shallow due to it being low tide.
He said: ”He just climbed over railings and plunged into the sea, which was at low tide. He was lucky not to kill himself – or at least break his legs. He was up to his neck in just 5ft of water.”
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