Modest lifesaver rewarded with "a nice cake"
FOR most people a holiday is a chance to relax — but for Ian Hullin a beach break turned into something more dramatic.
The day after the 30-year-old arrived in the South of France he found himself saving the life of a fellow holidaymaker after she got into difficulty in the sea.
Cardiff librarian Fran Murphy was trapped in the waves and on the verge of losing consciousness when her saviour arrived — in the form of former Royal Marine Ian from Swansea.
The Uplands man brought Fran safely to shore before returning to the surf to rescue another member of her group — then after checking they were okay he calmly returned to his girlfriend and their day on the beach.
And the former Olchfa School pupil thought that would be the end of the matter until Fran turned to the media to help find her Swansea Good Samaritan — after the tale appeared on TV and in the press a friend of his girlfriend's came forward.
Ian said: "I was swimming along when I heard cries for help — when I got there it was obvious Fran was in a bad way so I grabbed her and brought her in to the beach.
"Then I went back for one of her friends and brought her to the beach.
"At the time I didn't realise how bad Fran was — there was a lot of water in her lungs and she was close to dry drowning.
"By then there were so many people on the beach I decided to leave them to it once I knew everyone was okay."
Fran had been paddling with friends on a sandbank off the coast of Perpignan when it gave way under their feet, sending them tumbling into the water.
But luckily there was a brave Welshman on hand to save the day.
The pair were reunited this week and Fran — now fully recovered after spending a week in hospital following the ordeal — thanked the Good Samaritan.
She said to him: "You were just a mystery man to us at the time. We called you Mr Swansea.
"What you did was absolutely amazing. It might not be anything to you, but it meant a lot to us."
Ian, who works for a firm providing protection for ships from Somali pirates, was modest about his actions.
He said: "I'm just glad Fran is okay. It was good to see her again — and she made me a nice cake."