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Boat hero Carlton jumps for his life.

THIS is the terrifying moment Carlton Jacobs escaped death by leaping into a lifeboat from a stricken barge.

The 30-year-old salvage diver volunteered to go aboard the 60ft Endurance and fix a tow line after it was ripped from its moorings by a storm.

But he became stranded by huge waves and was forced to jump clear as it smashed into a harbour wall.

Witness Susan Addington said yesterday: "It was a miracle he survived."

The 19-year-old, who took this picture, was among a crowd of 200 who saw the drama unfold in Margate, Kent.

She said: "He's a very brave man. He got on the barge with a line to buy it some time.

"There was a five or six gale force wind blowing and the waves were coming over the harbour wall.

"There was just no time to get him off before it crashed.

"The swell made heavy going of the rescue attempt but the lifeboat managed to anchor nearby.

"Everyone held their breath as the barge got closer and closer to the harbour wall.

"The waves were lifting and pushing it like a surfboard.

"With every wave it got closer and closer and all of a sudden a huge wave slammed it into the wall.

"As it hit, the man lost his footing but he managed to stabilise himself and jumped straight into the lifeboat.

"It must have seemed like a tiny dingy to him at that distance.

"I thought for a while he wasn't going to make it. I held my breath and prayed.

"Had he left it one second later he would not have made it."
COPYRIGHT 1998 MGN LTD
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Copyright 1998 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Author:Atkinson, Steve
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Aug 28, 1998
Words:271
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