A young boy who cannot swim is lucky to be alive after he was rescued almost a mile from the shore after he was swept out to sea – riding on an inflatable DOLPHIN.
Ryan Supple, nine, was with his family when he went for a splash in the sea on the blow-up toy to keep afloat – but quickly got pulled out to sea by strong currents.
Lifeguard Harry Higate-Royce, 17, spotted him struggling to get back to shore and kept an eye on the boy – concerned he would drift out to sea.
Harry, who was stationed at Joss Bay in Broadstairs, Kent, jumped in to the sea on a rescue board and went out to rescue him but discovered Ryan could not swim and was too tired after kicking to attempt to return to shore.
RNLI Lifeguard supervisor Ben Detheridge said: “Because of the direction of the wind, the boy would have eventually been blown towards the chalk reef just north of the bay.
“This means he would have had to clamber across a slippery, uneven reef to get back to the sandy shore, which could have led to further challenges for the lifeguards.”
Ryan was reunited with his mum, Claire, on the beach who were both given safety advice by lifeguards after the Monday afternoon incident.
Claire said: “Thank you so much to the lifeguards who helped my son get back to shore safely.
“If it wasn’t for them, who knows what could have happened?”
The rescue comes after a busy weekend which saw lifeguards at Joss Bay help a further four beach goers in inflatable boats, kayaks and rubber rings.
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