Thursday, 24 Sep 2020

Boy, 10, thought he was 'moments away from dying' when he was swept out to sea

A 10-year-old was on a day trip to the beach with his family on one of the hottest days of the year when he found himself swept out to see.

Ravi Saini admitted he thought he was just moments away from dying before lifeboat crews pulled him to safety.

But it is thought his life was saved by techniques he learned watching TV programmes about ocean rescues.

Ravi, from Leeds, said: ‘I realised I was floating and I was like, “Help me, help me.”‘

‘My dad tried to come but the water was higher than him.’

‘I was thinking, is this really happening, is this the end of my life?’

Ravi, who visited the Scarborough lifeboat station this week, thanked the RNLI team that pulled him from the water for giving him ‘a second chance to live’.

The crew told the youngster he was ‘an inspiration’ as they presented him with gifts and showed him round the base.


Ravi described how he was on a day trip with his father, Nathu Ram, 37, his mother, Puspa Devi, 34, and his sister, Muskan Saini, nine, last week.

He said that he was in the water with his father when he suddenly realised he was out of his depth and floating out into South Bay, in Scarborough.

He said: ‘All of a sudden the waves were so strong that every single part of my body goes into the water and then it takes 10 seconds or something to get back.’

But he said he was a fan of programmes including the BBC documentary Saving Lives At Sea, which follows lifeboat crews across Britain.

This is where he learned the Float To Live technique – which he described as staying on your back, staying calm and spreading out like a starfish.

Then after what felt like five hours, he heard the inshore lifeboat’s engine.


Ravi said: ‘I felt like, “Yeah I finally got a second chance to live.”‘

His father, who is a chef, described how he tried to get to his son but the water was too deep with strong currents.

‘He called me – “dad, help me” – and I tried to go and bring Ravi back,’ Mr Ram said.

‘The water was round my neck in the water and I lost my control.

‘Slowly, slowly he was going too far. Once or twice we saw his face. After that we didn’t see him.

‘He kept asking, “Dad, help,” but we couldn’t do anything.

‘When I was in the water I was struggling and I was thinking that we could both lose our lives today.’

He said he thought his son was going to die in front of his eyes.

Mr Ram said that when Ravi was in hospital later, he told his parents he thought he was ‘a few minutes away from dying’.

Lifeboat crewman Rudi Barman, who also runs a speedboat attraction in the bay, said: ‘He was an incredible young man.

‘He resisted the urge to panic which, in those conditions, would have been a big problem.

‘The fact that he was on his back Floating To Live is just amazing really. That’s what saved his life.’

The crew said Ravi was swept across the bay from the Spa complex to the harbour and was in the water for around an hour.

The youngster was taken to hospital for checks but was allowed to go home the next day.

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