A hero schoolboy leaped off a pier to save a drowning toddler from near certain death in a dramatic rescue.
Brave Eli Harrison, 11, didn’t hesitate to jump when his family spotted the tot 30 yards off shore.
The family were enjoying a day out on Aug 7 at Staithes, near Whitby, North Yorks., when they noticed the baby struggling at sea.
The 11-year-old’s mum, Kayleigh, praised her son’s bravery after he ‘saved a life’.
She said: “He saved a life. I’m so proud.”
Kayleigh and her husband Ian had taken Eli, his brother Billy, 12, and sister Gypsie-Rose, 9, down to the beach late on Friday afternoon to see the tide come in.
It was Ian who spotted the little boy – aged between two and three – floating in the water.
She said: “Ian started to take his bag off so that he could go in but by the time he had it off, Eli had jumped off the pier to go and get him.
“The bairn was about 10 metres away from the shore. Eli had one arm holding onto him and using the other arm to swim back.”
The child’s mother rushed to meet Eli and took the little boy in her arms in an emotionally charged scene.
Although he seemed to have swallowed a large amount of water and had been floating when the family spotted him, the boy appears to have made a full recovery.
The toddler’s mother gave Eli £10 to thank him for his rescue.
Eli, who has just finished at Seton Primary School, was initially on an adrenaline rush but later shaken by the reality of what had happened, according to his mum.
As a healthcare assistant, she has tried to teach all her children how to carry out CPR and Eli has always been keen to learn.
She added: “He is one of the best swimmers ever, he has no fear of water at all.
“Because he has grown up here, he understands about the sea and the currents and the tides.”
She added he hopes to volunteer for the lifeboat crew, as other members of his family have done.