Tributes for former rugby player David Fell who died in rip tide at Reighton Gap near Filey

The man who died after being pulled from the sea near Filey last Thursday has been named as former rugby player David Fell.

Monday, 26th July 2021, 9:25 am
Updated Monday, 26th July 2021, 9:28 am
David Fell.

Tributes have been paid to Mr Fell, from Wigan, who played rugby league for the Salford Red Devils in the 1980s and 90s as well as for Rochdale Hornets and rugby union for Orrell RUFC.

Last Thursday, July 22 at around 2pm Mr Fell was swimming with a teenage boy and girl off Reighton Gap, south of Filey when they were swept out to sea after getting caught in a rip ride.

The teenagers were pulled from the water by members of the public and the man, aged 55, was rescued by an RNLI lifeboat from the Filey station but later pronounced dead.

The Police, Yorkshire Air Ambulance and a Coastguard helicopter also attended the incident

A statement from the Salford Red Devils reads: "Salford Red Devils are saddened to hear of the passing of former centre, David Fell.

"Heritage number 866, Fell made his debut for us on Nov 12 1989 against Leeds.

"We send our condolences to his family and friends.

"Once a Red, always a Red!"

A statement by Orrell RUFC said: "Once you play for Orrell you are part of the rugby family and we never forget our family members.

"Thoughts and best wishes from our family to his.

"The Club was shocked to hear of the very sad death of David Fell, a former Orrell RUFC Player.

"Our thoughts and condolences are with his family at this very sad time."

John Huyton, the club secretary of Orrell RUFC used to play with Mr Fell.

He wrote on social media: "Very sad news to post today with the passing of former Orrell player David Fell.

"David started his Orrell playing career in the U14s with myself, Drob, and Shaun Wane and went on to play 1st team, county honours in both Union & League.

"A dear friend RIP David Fell."

Reighton Gap, which is close to the Reighton Sands holiday park, is notorious for rip tides - in the summer of 2019, there were seven call-outs to swimmers who had been swept out in just one week.

Last week, six teenagers were injured after being caught in a rip at Hornsea South Beach and thrown against the groynes, leaving them with cuts, bruising and shock.

Coastguard advice on rip tides

- If swimming in the sea, stay within your depth, at a lifeguarded beach if possible

- If you are caught in a rip current, don’t try and swim against it; swim across it, parallel to shore or float on your back

- If you see anyone if difficulty in the sea dial 999 and ask for the Coastguard, who will co-ordinate a rescue