Amazing photos as Dad takes child in buggy to dodge the waves crashing against Sunderland’s sea walls

A man with a child in a buggy dodging the waves in Sunderland.

A man with a child in a buggy dodging the waves in Sunderland.

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IS this Wearside’s stupidest dad?

The foolhardy father defied huge crashing waves to push his daughter along the promenade at Roker.

Luckily, they both emerged unharmed from their escapade.

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Today, family and friends who have lost loved ones in seafront tragedies joined rescue groups in their condemnation of the man, branding his actions as “ridiculous” and “unbelievable”.

Thirteen-year-old Mark Langton, who attended Southmoor School in Sunderland, was swept to his death by a 15ft wave as he played with pals on a slipway at Hendon Promenade on the first day of the Easter holidays in 2006.

Margaret Moan, a friend of the family who has helped raise funds for the RNLI in Mark’s memory, said: “It’s ridiculous. This man surely must know that people have lost their lives doing similar things, being swept out to sea.

“What are children going to think? If they see an adult doing this, then they’re maybe going to think it is okay to do the same.

“To have a child in a pushchair while he’s doing it makes it even more unbelievable.”

Jonathan Bernardi was just 13 years old when he lost his footing and was swept out to sea at Hendon Beach on September 13, 1996.

Jonathan, from Tweed Close, in Grangetown, had gone to the beach with two schoolfriends.

But as they walked down one of the ramps leading to the sea he lost his footing and was dragged out into the icy water.

Frantic lifeboat men dodged 15ft waves to reach the youngster, but desperate attempts to resuscitate him proved in vain.

His mum Susan said: “Words fail me. I think people just don’t realise the power of the sea. You can have a splash over a certain area, 20 of 30 small waves, and then a big wave which can sweep you out to sea.

“People need to remember that it’s nature.

“It’s unpredictable.”

Paul Nicholson, senior helmsman at Sunderland RNLI, said: “This family were running a significant risk of turning a nice family day out into a family tragedy.

“We advise anyone who wants to watch the waves to do so from a safe distance.”

Neil Mearns, Sunderland coastguard rescue officer, said: “Unfortunately, the promenade, for many years, has attracted people who do this sort of thing.

“It is just a very dangerous, plain and simple.

“The waves can come over the promenade and, while they may look harmless and people might think they are only going to get a soaking, you can be knocked off your feet and dragged under the railings.

“This kind of behaviour can be potentially fatal.”