A woman who was swept out to sea off Bridlington was "being daft" with her boyfriend, he has admitted.
The man told Bridlington RNLI press officer Andy Brompton that "it was his idea" to try and outrun crashing waves on the slipway at South Pier.
"He said it was not the brightest thing he has ever done", said Andy.
"They were walking down the slipway because the waves were rushing in and then one of the waves took her.
"He lost total sight of her".
An astonished bystander, who was photographing the couple's dangerous antics, said she "couldn't believe" what she saw yesterday (October 16), at around 5.15pm.
She added: "I just couldn't believe she was walking further and further.
"The words were just leaving my lips to shout but a wave first came from under her feet and she was on the floor - then another wave."
A number of 999 calls were made to Bridlington Coastguard and their helicopter, which had been out on a training mission nearby, was immediately called to the scene.
Andy Brompton, of Bridlington RNLI, added: "He [the boyfriend] tried to throw her a life ring, but he just couldn't see her.
"Our inshore lifeboat was paged immediately by the Coastguard, who also made their way towards the scene."
The woman had been washed down towards to Spa when a man spotted her struggling in the water.
"Apparently a passerby threw her a life ring and pulled her in," Mr Brompton said.
"Our coxswain, Stuart Tibbett and Grant Walkington, drove straight to the scene. "They administered oxygen and kept her wrapped up warm before the ambulance arrived."
The woman was taken to Scarborough Hospital to be checked over for hypothermia and secondary drowning.
Now Bridlington RNLI have issued a warning urging people not to underestimate the power of the sea.
Mr Brompton added: "She is a very, very lucky girl. If you watch when there's storms around the country, there's always someone.
"It's not something we have had recently - but people do not realise the strength of the sea.
"She was in the water for at least seven minutes - and in those conditions, it is a very long time."