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Boy saved by using ‘Float to Live’ advice seen on ‘Saving Lives at Sea'

Lifeboats News Release

At 7:20 pm on Friday 31 July, Scarborough RNLI’s inshore lifeboat with a volunteer crew of three launched to assist Humber Coastguard and North Yorkshire Police in the search of a 10-year-old who’d been missing in the sea in South Bay for nearly an hour.

The boy had been reported missing near Scarborough Spa. A shoreline search was conducted by the lifeboat crew who recovered the boy near Vincent Pier after having been swept by the tide and wind nearly the entire distance across South Bay.

He was found floating on his back in the water with his arms and legs spread shouting for help - precisely the advice that the RNLI gives to anyone in the water needing assistance.

Lee Marton, Coxswain at Scarborough Lifeboat Station, takes up the story: ‘We were told that he’d been watching lifeboat rescues on the BBC documentary Saving Lives at Sea and had followed the advice given on the show.

‘We’re very much in awe of this incredible lad, who managed to remain calm and follow safety advice to the letter in terrifying and stressful circumstances. Had he not, the outcome might have been very different.’

The boy was escorted to the lifeboat station where he was reunited with his family before being taken for a precautionary check-up at Scarborough Hospital by the Yorkshire Ambulance Service.

If you or your children are struggling in the water, remember: FLOAT TO LIVE.

The ‘Float to Live’ advice is a key message in the RNLI’s national drowning prevention campaign, Respect the Water. It urges people to follow this potentially lifesaving advice if they find themselves in trouble after falling into cold water:

Fight your instinct to swim hard or thrash about – this can lead to breathing in water and drowning

Instead, relax and FLOAT on your back, until you have regained control of your breathing

For more information and instruction on how to Float to Live and the RNLI’s campaign, visit

RNLI Media Contacts:

Scarborough RNLI Deputy Lifeboat Press Officer Erik Woolcott (07866) 848314 [email protected]

Clare Hopps, RNLI Regional Media Officer North and East (07824) 518641 [email protected]

Key facts about the RNLI

The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.

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For more information please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the News Centre.

Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or by email.