Friday, 25 Sep 2020

Boy, 6, swept out to sea on inflatable swan rescued by hero granddad

A six-year-old boy was swept out to sea on an inflatable swan before being rescued by a hero granddad who heard his mother’s panicked screams.

Sam McKeeder, 57, from Towyn, said the boy was about 200 metres off the shore at Black Rock Sands in North Wales when he found him face-down and unconscious in the water.

The builder, who was on the beach with his daughter and grandchildren when he heard the child’s mother shout for help, patted the boy on the back before he threw up and started breathing again.

The boy’s father had been told to stay onshore by the coast guard while he called 999. By the time he was brought back to the beach paramedics were waiting for him.

Same told North Wales Live: ‘I was on the beach with my three grandchildren and daughter. I heard the boy’s mum shout for help and I just jumped in, the kid was in trouble and I had to try and help.

‘He was far away from shore, around 200 metres and it took me a while to get to him but luckily I’m quite a strong swimmer.

‘There was another person trying to help but he couldn’t do too much as he was so exhausted. The boy was face down and unconscious.

“I managed to turn him over and patted him on his back, sick and a lot of water came up but at least he was breathing again.’

The boy was given oxygen and airlifted to Ysbyty Gwynedd by a coastguard rescue helicopter.  

Sam said he was thanked by the boy’s parents and emergency services for his heroic actions.

A spokesperson for the Royal Coastguard warned parents to leave inflatables at home.

‘I wish people would leave the inflatables at home as they are designed for swimming pool not for the sea,’ the statement said.

The dramatic rescue happened on another scorching hot day that saw people pack Britain’s beaches despite warnings from local authorities to stay away.

People in Bournemouth were seen coming out of tents today after setting them up last night to make sure they would get the best spots. 

Local police in North Wales also reported ‘a considerable build up of traffic’ in Abersoch as drivers made their way to the beach, despite a councillor’s plea for visitors to avoid towns. 

Today also saw a swimmer die in a water-filled quarry at Bawsey Pits near King’s Lynn in Norfolk. 

The swimmer got ‘into difficulty’ and emergency services were called this morning after he was reported missing. 

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