Barry Weir of mobile homes fame had retired from the workaday world in 2010, when unexpected events thrust him back into the spotlight.
Barry Weir was walking along the shore with his wife Roma one cold February day when he spotted a man who he first thought was just playing around in the surf. But a closer inspection showed that something wasn’t quite right. The man was fully dressed in a black suit, for one thing. So Barry Weir got out his cell phone and called the authorities. But moments later he saw the man roll into the water face down, and disappear from view.
Without hesitation, Barry Weir stripped off his outer clothing and ran into icy surf. “There was no one else there,” he recalled later, trying to explain his actions. “It was just second nature, really.”
Barry Weir describes himself as “not a good swimmer at all,” yet he was intent on trying to help in what he quickly concluded was a life-threatening situation. “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 mind,” he admitted afterward. By then he had nearly reached the man. “There was a break in the waves so I went for it.”
He was able to pull the man up to shore and high onto the beach, where he put the man in the recovery position. Other bystanders had by then come to his aid and they performed CPR on the man. Unfortunately these heroic actions came too late, and the man died.
“It’s a pity I couldn’t get to him in time,” Barry Weir, mobile homes park owner, later said. He 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.”