A QUICK-THINKING surfer saved the life of a man who jumped off a pier.

Leon Allison, of Saltburn, east Cleveland, pulled the 25- year-old from the sea after he saw him in difficulty shortly after 2pm on Saturday.

The man, who is in a critical condition in The James Cook University Hospital, in Middlesbrough, jumped off Saltburn Pier along with a 19- year-old.

The teenager swam to shore and is is in hospital, but his condition was last night not thought to be serious.

Sergeant John Stokeld, of Cleveland Police, said Mr Allison, who did not want to speak about his heroics, had saved the 25-year-old.

He said: “The North Sea is a very dangerous sea. I would strongly advise people not to enter it if they are under the influence of alcohol, not adequately equipped or have not received any formal watersports training.

“I would like to thank the surfer who came to the aid of this man so quickly. The fact that he was able to administer cardio-pulmonary resuscitation has undoubtedly saved this man.”

Dave Cocks, from Redcar RNLI, said: “Before the lifeboat arrived, the crew were told by the coastguard that all the people were out of the sea, but the crew was asked to continue to the scene in case they were needed to give medical assistance until paramedics arrived.

“As the lifeboat arrived, the air ambulance landed on the lower promenade and the helicopter crew and land-based By Dani Webb dani.webb@nne.co.uk paramedics worked on the most serious casualty before transferring him to the helicopter and flying him to the James Cook hospital.”

The Humber Coastguard has issued a warning about the dangers of jumping from piers, especially with the cold temperatures at this time of the year.

A spokesman said: “Jumping from height into water is dangerous because water depth alters with the tide and it might be shallower than it appears. Submerged objects like rocks and structures may not be visible, the shock of cold water can make it difficult to swim, plus strong currents can sweep people away.”