Largs volunteer crew member swims to rescue a child being swept out to sea
Largs volunteer crew member, Andrew Malone, sprang into action when the young boy was drifting precariously out to sea on an inflatable LiLow.
Largs RNLI were alerted to the incident yesterday (22 July) when Lifeboat Operations Manager, John Griffiths, was approached by a concerned member of the public. John alerted the UK Coastguard and instructed the arriving crew to prepare for a water rescue.
One volunteer crew member, Andrew Malone, took to the water and swam out to the casualty whilst’ the other crew members tended to the safety line.
As the boy was brought closer to the nearby slipway, a second volunteer crew member entered the water to assist in bringing the young boy to the safety of the shore.
Lifeboat Helm, Neilson Grant - a trained Paramedic - spoke with the father and the boy. Although a little shaken, he was safe and well.
Commenting on the rescue, Andrew Malone said: 'When I got to the station, our Operations Manager, John, said it was a boy on an inflatable LiLow not far from our slipway. I got into my kit and swam out to the LiLow.’
‘Luckily the boy was still on the LiLow and not in the water, I got a hold of the inflatable and pulled it back to the slipway where Steve (another crew member) scooped the boy off and back to his dad who had watched the incident unfold from the slip.'
Lifeboat Operations Manager, John Griffiths, praised the crew for their quick action. He took the opportunity to remind beachgoers as to the danger of inflatables.
John said: 'The quick thinking and actions of the volunteer crew averted a serious situation. Andrew was able to reach the boy before he came off the inflatable and the team were able to ensure both he and his father were OK.
John added: 'When there is any sort of wind, inflatables can be swept offshore in no time. We would advise against their use at the coast.'
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.