Lifeguard rescue in Largs triggers inflatables warning

An RNLI VOLUNTEER crew member at Largs kicked in yesterday with a young boy who was seen drifting precariously to see on an inflatable LiLow.

The team was alerted to the incident when John Griffiths, the lifeboat operations manager, was approached by a concerned member of the public and alerted the Coast Guard and his local crew.

One of them, Andrew Malone, swam to the victim while the rest of his crew took care of the safety line.

As the boy neared the nearby slipway, a second volunteer crew member entered the water to help him get to safety on shore.

Lifeboat Helm, Neilson Grant – a trained paramedic – spoke with the father and the boy and, although a little shaken, he was unharmed.

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 to LiLow.

“Fortunately the boy was still on the LiLow and not in the water, I took the tire and brought it back to the slipway where Steve [another crew member] picked up the boy and took him back to his father who had watched the incident unfold from the slip.

Griffiths praised the crew for their quick action and reminded beachgoers of the danger of inflatables.

He said: “The quick-wittedness and actions of the volunteer team helped prevent a serious situation. Andrew was able to reach the boy before he got off the inflatable and the team were able to make sure he and his dad were okay.

“When it’s windy, the inflatables can be blown out to sea in no time. We do not recommend their use on the coast.


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