Son makes emotional return to scene of father’s dramatic rescue

Colin Orr, of Silksworth, on Ryhope beach, where 80 years ago his father rescued a man from the sea.
Colin Orr, of Silksworth, on Ryhope beach, where 80 years ago his father rescued a man from the sea.
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A pensioner has told of how he had “tears in his eyes” as he returned to the site where his father heroically rescued a man 80 years ago.

Frank Orr’s efforts on August 1, 1935, saved 25-year-old miner George Hume from drowning at Ryhope Beach.

Frank Orr, who rescued a man from the sea at Ryhope Beach 80 years ago

Frank Orr, who rescued a man from the sea at Ryhope Beach 80 years ago

Mr Hume had got into difficulties 100 yards out to sea, and Mr Orr swam to him, before keeping him afloat for 10 minutes against a strong under-current, with a lifeboat eventually able to complete the rescue.

Mr Orr’s son Colin, now aged 83, often makes an emotional journey to the beach on the anniversary of the rescue, and did so 80 years to the day earlier this month.

Colin, of Silksworth, said: “I often go to the beach on that date and think about the day my dad saved a man from drowning. This was a particularly important occasion, as it was 80 years to the day since it happened, and it was a sentimental, emotional journey.

“As I stood there, tears came into my eyes and a lump into my throat.

“I looked out to sea and tried to recapture the drama of that afternoon.”

Frank Orr was aged 41 at the time of the rescue, and he was later awarded a certificate for his efforts from the Royal Humane Society.

Colin added: “The man had got into difficulties and was obviously calling for help. My dad was the nearest to him, and saved his life.

“I later remember that the man visited our house because he wanted to express thanks, as when he met him immediately after the rescue, he was too overcome to speak and could only smile. I’m very proud of what my dad did.”