A ten-year-old boy has been hailed a life-saver after rescuing a woman knocked off her kayak and swept out to sea.
Young Jay Springall was enjoying a day boating with his dad, 39-year-old Ken, when he noticed a commotion by the water.
A woman had tried to cross the River Teign, in Teignmouth, Devon, in a kayak but had come off and was being swept out to sea by the strong current.
With no thought for his own safety, Jay jumped in his boat, which has a small engine, and went off to rescue the stricken woman on Monday, June 22.
Jay said: “I was on the beach and I heard someone was in trouble so I went out in my boat to see what was wrong.
“I put the ladder out and tried to get her in the boat but she couldn’t because she was very tired. I tried to tie the kayak on and I tried again to pull her up.
“I put her on the back of the kayak so it was furthest away from the propeller and I was going quite slow because the boat could have gone faster but there was a lot of tide.
“I knew it wasn’t able to get in so I waited til the lifeboat came out and they took over the rescue, they said that I was a hero.”
Recalling the incident, Jay’s mum, Katie Davis, 32, said: “He spends quite a bit of time with his dad on the boat, it’s moored up in Teignmouth.
“He was on the beach at the time and he heard that someone was in trouble.
“She was crossing the river but the tide was very strong and something knocked her off her kayak and she couldn’t get back in.
“She was swept out to sea so Jay got in his boat and went out to see what was going on.”
Jay motored out and caught up with the woman and saw she was in trouble, so the brave lad lowered a ladder into the water so the woman could climb on board.
But because she had been swimming against the tide she had ran out of energy and couldn’t get on board.
Thankfully someone on the shore had called the RNLI so Jay reassured the woman and kept her save while the emergency services rushed to the scene.
Katie continued: “He’s only got a small engine so it would have taken a long time for them to get back to safety.
“The RNLI arrived while Jay was reassuring her and keeping her safe, they pulled alongside and thanked him for his effort.
“He’s been on the water all his life and knows a lot about the tides, he’s not just a ten-year-old with a boat.
“I think he saved the woman’s life, if he hadn’t been there then she may have been swept further out or may have swallowed more water, who knows?
“She came round to thank Jay the next day, she said she will never forget what he did for her.”
The RNLI confirmed the details of the rescue, saying that they were called at around 10am and the volunteer responders were summoned.
They said that the woman had launched her kayak in Shaldon and was trying to cross over to Teignmouth when she got into trouble.
Teignmouth RNLI Lifeboat Station said: ‘While Jay did a remarkable job, people should firstly phone 999 and ask for the coastguard if they see someone struggling in the water.’