An heroic employee from Brighton Pier leapt from the pier shortly after 6pm on Saturday when an uncocious man was seen in the water.
A 999 call was made to Sussex Police advising that a male was in the sea having fallen from the pier.
Brave Matthew Seekings, 22 from Brighton, quickly removed his shirt and steel toe-capped work boots before jumping the 40ft drop into the icy water to swim to the aid of the 43 year old man.
The man had been spotted climbing over the railings before jumping in to the English Channel. On lookers had watched on aghast and helpless as the man bobbed under the water before he finally passed out.
Matthew managed to keep the man above the water until the RNLI lifeboat reach them. The RNLI transferred the man to an ambulance which took him to the Royal Sussex County Hospital where the man was described as being in a serious condition.
The RNLI confirmed that the crew of its Brighton lifeboat had been called out at 18:35 to assist a man in difficulty near the Brighton Palace Pier.
An RNLI spokesperson said: “On arrival on scene, a male was face down in the water, unconscious and being assisted by members of the public.
“The crew recovered the casualty on to the lifeboat (and) immediately began CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation, also known as heart lung resuscitation) and administered emergency care.
“As the ambulance crew were on land close to the Palace Pier, the helmsman of the lifeboat made the decision to land the casualty on the beach rather than transport him back to the lifeboat station.
“The lifeboat crew continued with CPR until the casualty was safely handed over to the further care of South East Coast Ambulance Service.”