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Eight-year-old boy’s life saved by Silloth RNLI

Lifeboats News Release

Silloth RNLI lifeboat launched yesterday evening (Tuesday 11 July) at 7.35pm to an 8 year old boy who had drifted out to sea in an inflatable dinghy off Allonby.

Library photo of Silloth RNLI

Martin Fish

Library photo of Silloth RNLI

The boy, who was wearing just swimming shorts, had been on Allonby beach enjoying the hot weather and using a small inflatable dinghy in the sea, when he was swept away by the strong tidal current.

The alarm was raised by the boy’s mother who was also on the beach at the time with other family members.

After an extensive search of Allonby Bay by Silloth lifeboat crew and the assistance of a mobile Coastguard team from Maryport, the boy was found at 8.10pm half a mile off Allonby, opposite the church. He was very cold, shivering and suffering from the early effects of hypothermia. He had attempted to swim to shore twice pulling the dinghy with him which made him more susceptible to hypothermia.

Silloth lifeboat crew requested the launching of both the all-weather lifeboat (ALB) and the inshore lifeboat (ILB) from RNLI Workington and also Maryport Inshore Rescue Boat to assist them with the search. A Coastguard helicopter was also tasked to the incident. All were “stood down” when the boy was found.

The lifeboat brought the boy back to Silloth and delivered him into the hands of paramedics from the North West Ambulance Service who attended to him.

After receiving some medical attention from the paramedics the boy was allowed to go home.

Mark Ware, volunteer helm of Silloth RNLI lifeboat, said the young boy was very lucky to be alive and pointed out the dangers of using inflatables on the sea, adding: ‘I would also like to thank the other lifeboat crews and Coastguard teams who assisted with the incident.’

RNLI media contact

For more information contact Eddie Studholme, Silloth RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager, on 07802940671

Key facts about the RNLI

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution is the charity that saves lives at sea. Our volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service in the United Kingdom and Ireland from 238 lifeboat stations, including four along the River Thames and inland lifeboat stations at Loch Ness, Lough Derg, Enniskillen, Carrybridge and Lough Ree. Additionally the RNLI has more than 1,000 lifeguards on over 240 beaches around the UK and operates a specialist flood rescue team, which can respond anywhere across the UK and Ireland when inland flooding puts lives at risk.

The RNLI relies on public donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. As a charity it is separate from, but works alongside, government-controlled and funded coastguard services. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824 our lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved at least 140,000 lives. Volunteers make up 95% of the charity, including 4,600 volunteer lifeboat crew members and 3,000 volunteer shore crew. Additionally, tens of thousands of other dedicated volunteers raise funds and awareness, give safety advice, and help in our museums, shops and offices.

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Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

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The RNLI is a charity registered in England and Wales (209603) and Scotland (SC037736). Charity number 20003326 in the Republic of Ireland