It’s the dramatic moment a tearful girl was rescued by a heroic RNLI speedboat team as she floated out to sea in an inflatable dinghy.
The terrified child, believed to be eight, was blown around half a mile out to sea by the offshore wind in Rhyl, Wales.
The youth had floated in the canoe as it was tied by a rope to a family member on the shore.
But the safety line was accidentally released and it quickly began to drift towards the sea.
Paul Frost, press secretary at Rhyl Rescue Station, said: “It was very lucky that the crew were in the area, participating in another call, they were on the scene very quickly.”
Video of his rescue shows the RNLI crew running across the water towards the stricken child in their orange rescue boat.
Reaching him, they calmly grab the rope attached to his inflatable.
One of the crew immediately shouts “Are you okay? Are you okay?” “
We can hear her scream that she is afraid and that she wants to “go out”.
They quickly bring the child to safety while trying to calm her down, telling the sobbing girl that she is fine and that she will be returned “to your parents.”
She immediately calms down and responds “OK”.
Mr. Frost said that although the sea was not rough, there was a breeze from the open sea and the tide was going out, “so the dinghy was quickly blown out to sea.
“The crew was only about two minutes away at the time [of the emergency call].
“She had drifted about half a mile offshore.
“But, she did the right thing by staying in the canoe and not trying to swim to shore.
“She was crying when the crew found her and they brought her ashore to her family. No medical help was needed – she was just a little shaken.
“His family explained that the canoe was tied to a line, but they let go and within seconds he was away.”
The crews of the Rhyl RNLI lifeboats responded to five calls on Sunday, May 30, with two more rescues – including that of the girl – on Bank Holiday Monday.
The RNLI Beach Safety Campaign
The main RNLI summer safety tips are:
- Visit a lifeguarded beach and swim between the red and yellow flags
- If you are in trouble, Float to Live – lie on your back and relax, resisting the urge to struggle
- Call 999 in an emergency and ask for the coast guard
The offshore wind and high tides caused problems with inflatable toys, boats and balls being carried at sea.
The crew had launched a lifeboat from Rhyl at 1:22 p.m. in response to a call to 999, when asked to rescue the girl at 1:47 p.m. following calls to the HM Coast Guard Center in Holyhead .
The RNLI recently launched its Beach Safety Campaign.
“We expect this summer to be the busiest ever for our lifeguards and volunteer lifeboat crews,” said Gareth Morrison, RNLI Water Safety Officer.
He added: “We want people to enjoy the coast, but urge everyone to respect the water, think about their own safety and know what to do in an emergency.
“Our main advice is to visit a supervised beach and swim between the red and yellow flags.
“RNLI lifeguards will be patrolling around 245 beaches this summer giving advice on how to stay safe and they’re also there to help anyone in trouble.
“Coastal areas provide a great opportunity to enjoy fresh air and open spaces, but they can be an unpredictable and dangerous environment.”
This is “especially in early summer, when air temperatures start to warm up but water temperatures remain dangerously cold, which increases the risk of shock from cold water.” Mr. Morrison said.