Sleepwalker saved after waking up on beach

PUBLISHED: 13:00 06 July 2015

Marie Lord and her rescuer Anchor Head Hotel night porter Lee Searle.

Marie Lord and her rescuer Anchor Head Hotel night porter Lee Searle.


A Weston woman has heralded a ‘heroic’ hotel worker who may have saved her life after she sleep-walked her way onto a nearby beach.

Marie Lord, aged 39, awoke to find herself lying on the sand behind The Anchor Head Hotel on Claremont Crescent after wandering from her home in Camp Road.

Marie has not had an episode of sleep-walking since the age of 13 and remembers going to bed as normal that night.

She said: “The next thing I knew I had a horrible taste of salt and grit in my mouth and was on my back, lying on the sand.

“At first I thought I was in a dream, but I soon realised how cold I was due to the temperature of the water I was lying down in.

“As I was coming to, a wave crashed around me and I started grabbing at the rocks next to me as it flung me around.

“By some miracle I managed to drag myself back up the beach and climb over rocks and up the big steps, which is amazing as I’m only 4ft 10in and they’re very steep.”

The hotel’s night porter, Lee Searle, aged 21, followed the sound of Marie’s subsequent cries for help and guided her inside, wrapping her in blankets and keeping her conscious with conversation.

Lee told the Mercury: “She seemed to be a lot better when we started talking about how she met her husband and aspects of her past, which seemed to sooth her a lot.

“The whole thing shocked me because it happened so quickly and out of nowhere, but thankfully all of us are trained in first aid and so were able to move fast.

“It was a pleasure to have helped someone feel better in a time of great need.”

Hotel manager Janet Day said: “Lee’s a very loyal and caring member of staff and I’m proud that he stayed so calm and didn’t panic when faced with such a challenging situation.”

Marie’s husband Keith spoke of his gratitude for Lee’s quick-thinking.

He said: “I was obviously shocked and it didn’t immediately sink in, but I am also very grateful to Lee for what he did for Marie.”

Marie added: “I was later told by the doctor in A&E that if it were not for this heroic 21-year-old I could very easily have died from hypothermia.

“I will be treating him to a roast dinner as thanks for all he did.

“I also want to say a huge thank you to the paramedics and staff at Weston General’s A&E department for their wonderful care.”

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