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Children’s author donates life-saving books to all schools in the UK

Lifeboats News Release

Ahead of Drowning Prevention Week – 19 to 24 June, 2023children’s author Ellie Jackson from Looe, Cornwall, is donating a book to all schools and nurseries across the UK

The book tells the story of how the ‘float to live’ advice can save your life in the sea.

'I can’t believe how far out he had gone!' said one of his rescuers. 'We found him over by the island, floating calmly on his back, doing exactly the right thing. If he had tried to swim against the current, he would never have made it. Well done, Sami lad!'

Thankfully, Sami’s story has a happy ending, but many more children and families are not so lucky.

Tragically, Ellie Jackson’s brother Dom drowned whilst kayaking off the Moray Coast in 2017. She has since been campaigning to raise awareness of the dangers of going out without a personal locater beacon (PLB) and now wants to help teach children about the importance of water safety.

Her latest book aims to enforce the RNLI lesson of Float to Live – which teaches children to float on their back like a starfish if they ever get into trouble whilst swimming or playing on the water.

The book is being launched next week ahead of the RLSS’ Drowning Prevention Week, which runs from 19 to 24 June, and is aimed at primary school age children.

Inspired by a news story of a boy swept out to sea – Ellie said the book almost “wrote itself”, she said: 'The boy had remembered the simple message of Float to Live after he was washed out to sea. He didn’t panic, and thankfully he was recovered by the RNLI lifeboat and he was fine.

'I’m donating this new eBook and teaching resources to all schools in the UK in the hope that it will help teach this important lesson and prevent any more drownings.'

Beckie Ramsay’s son Dylan tragically drowned in 2011 after entering an open water quarry near their home in Chorley.

She has since campaigned tirelessly, starting her own charity Doing It For Dylan – her main aim being that no one else should experience the heartache he own family has endured.

'I want to make sure other mums don’t have to go through this,' said Beckie.

'It’s so important for everyone to learn water safety – and hopefully reduce the water fatalities going forward – that’s why this book is needed.

'When I walked into that mortuary and saw my beautiful first-born son lifeless, not breathing, not moving just looking perfect, I could not hold myself together.

'I hugged his chest and held him so tight. I sobbed and begged him to come back to us. I told him right there and then that I would not let his death be in vain.'

Brendon Prince founded Above Water, a charity which aims to stop accidental drowning in the UK through education.

Endorsing Ellie’s book, Brendon says it is helping spread an important message, he said: 'This is a subject which is invisible to most on our island nation; it is so important to reach out with as many mediums as possible – especially to children.

'This book is yet another way to reinforce those key issues and basics of water safety.'

Following her brother’s death, Ellie feels a bond to the North East of Scotland and has been aided by Aberdeenshire Council which is helping launch the book next week across the region.

Ellie realised her dream of becoming a children’s author using money her brother left in his will.

Under the banner Wild Tribe Heroes, she has published seven children’s books which focus on true stories about climate change, plastic pollution and habitat loss. The books have received letters of congratulations from Sir David Attenborough and King Charles III, reaching almost 2 million children in schools around the world and helping young children understand the importance of looking after our environment and how they can get involved.

Ellie comments: 'I have seen first-hand the power of a children’s book and how a simple story can bring the issue home to children. By telling a story using gentle words, happy endings and engaging illustrations, children identify with the character and the message in a way that is familiar and comforting. Story telling has been used for thousands of years to share important messages and I hope that my new book will help children to remember how to stay safe on the water and hopefully save lives.'

Download your free copy of the book and teaching resources here:


Ellie Jackson is the bestselling children's author of the Wild Tribe Heroes book series. Each book is inspired by a true story and follows a well-loved animal as it encounters problems caused by humans. Covering issues on plastic pollution - fishing nets and balloons - to deforestation, climate change and habitat loss.

Ellie’s books are written for primary children to inspire and encourage them to help tackle these issues in their communities. The books have reached almost two million children so far and have received letters of support from Sir David Attenborough and King Charles III.

She also runs the safety awareness charity Plan B which was set up after the tragic death of her brother Dom Jackson who drowned whilst kayaking in 2017 near Portsoy.

Ellie can be contacted on: 07848 034350

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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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