Lifeboat volunteer rescues child being swept out to sea

Andrew Malone leapt to the aid of the young boy as he drifted out to sea on an inflatable.

Lifeboat volunteer rescues child being swept out to sea RNLI

A volunteer lifeboat crewman sprang into action when a child was pulled out to sea on an inflatable lilow.

Andrew Malone, a member of Largs RNLI, responded with his team after the alarm was raised on Thursday.

Lifeboat operations manager John Griffiths called the UK Coastguard and instructed the arriving crew to prepare for a water rescue.

Andrew took to the water and swam out to the casualty while the other crew members tended to the safety line.

He 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.

Largs RNLI's Atlantic class lifeboatRNLI

“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.”

The boy was “a little shaken” but otherwise safe and well, reported lifeboat helm Neilson Grant who spoke with the child and his dad following the rescue.

Mr Griffiths warned of the dangers of inflatables.

He 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.

“When there is any sort of wind, inflatables can be swept offshore in no time. We would advise against their use at the coast.”

The Coastguard has issued a warning to take care in the water or risk tragic consequences as many are expected to travel to the seaside during the heatwave.

The warning came as more than nine fatalities were reported on beaches across the UK in the last ten days. A number of people have also sustained life-changing injuries as a result of water-related incidents.

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