Wales

Surfer Jo Morris rescues pair in 'horrendous' sea conditions

Jo Morris Image copyright Clive Morris
Image caption Joseph "Jo" Morris has been surfing since he was seven years old

Two people who got into difficulty in "horrendous" conditions off the Welsh coast were saved by a professional surfer.

Joseph Morris was surfing on Aberavon beach, near Port Talbot, on Saturday when he spotted two people struggling to escape a rip current near the pier.

The 17-year-old got to them and paddled for 20 minutes to reach safety.

His father, lifeboat manager Clive Morris, said he was "immensely proud" of his son's actions.

"Conditions were horrendous - high winds, waves were breaking over pier. It was not very pleasant," Mr Morris Snr explained.

Image copyright Luke Gartside
Image caption He has surfed some of the world's biggest waves

Joseph, known as Jo, said he had noticed two people getting dragged out to sea in an area of the beach known for rip currents.

"I looked and I could see this person trying to climb up the pier so I paddled out to them. They said 'we are stuck, we need help'," added Jo, who has been surfing since he was seven.

He got to the pair - a man and a woman between 18 and 20 years old - and offered one his surfboard leash and told the other to climb on his board.

After 20 minutes paddling against the current, he got to shore and the beach lifeguards checked and confirmed the pair were uninjured.

Image copyright Joel Grey
Image caption His actions saved the two people's lives, his dad and local lifeboat manager Clive said

"I was just happy to help and get them to safety. I'm just thankful everyone got in safely. I was in the right place at the right time."

Mr Morris, who is lifeboat operations manager for Port Talbot, said the sea was so rough the lifeboat had to launch from the River Afan, which takes an extra 10 minutes.

"We were just hitting the water when we had word that he had rescued them," Mr Morris added.

"Without his service we would have been dealing with two fatalities, I have no doubt."

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