Barry Weir: “At Great Personal Risk”

Barry Weir is a retired businessman who spent nearly thirty years in the mobile home park business. He is also a bona fide hero.

On a chilly day in February 2010, Barry Weir was taking a walk along the waterfront with his wife Roma when he saw a man who was, he first thought, playing in the surf. But something didn’t look right, because the man he had spotted was fully dressed in a black suit. Barry Weir immediately called the coast guard on his cell phone. But then, when he saw the man roll over and lie face down in the water, he decided to act. “There was no one else there,” he said later on.

Barry Weir tore off his outer clothing and ran into the freezing water. “I’m not a good swimmer at all,” he says, but that did not stop him from hurrying to the man’s aide. “When I got out there and four foot waves were crashing over me, the question of ‘what am I doing here?’ did come into my head, but he wasn’t that far away, and there was a break in the waves so I went for it.”

He was able to get the man to shore, where he dragged him up on the beach. Others who had by then come along raced over to him, and began to administer CPR to the man Barry Weir had rescued.

Unfortunately, it was too late to save the man’s life. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

“It’s a pity I couldn’t get to him in time,” Barry Weir told reporters afterward, observing that it was just “second nature” for him to attempt the rescue. “But would I do it again – yes definitely.”

Barry Weir was recognized for his heroic actions. Being presented with the Honorary Testimonial from the Royal Humane Society “for having, on the 22 February 2010, at great personal risk, courageously attempted to save the life of a man in danger of drowning in the sea at Flaghead Chine Beach, Poole, Dorset.”

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