Lifeboat crew praise young swimmer as 'cool-headed hero'

Credit: ITV Calendar

A lifeboat crew on the Yorkshire coast say they are in awe of a 10 year-old boy who survived for an hour being swept out to sea thanks to advice he had seen on a TV programme.

Raviraj Saini could have drowned when he was dragged away by a rip-tide as he splashed in the water with his father Nathu at Scarborough. Choppy seas and a water temperature of just 14 degrees celsius made rescuers fear the worst.

But instead of panicking, Raviraj calmly floated on his back and spread his arms and legs out like a starfish - the advice he had picked up from the RNLI while watching the documentary Saving Lives at Sea.

As lifeboat crews, police and coastguard scrambled to the scene, Raviraj floated for almost half a mile from in front of the Spa across the width of the South Bay.  And after nearly an hour, he was spotted by the crew from the town's inshore lifeboat, close to Vincent's Pier.

They plucked him from the water and despite being upset by his ordeal, after a check up at hospital Raviraj was allowed to return with his family to their home in Leeds.

The youngster has now been reunited with the lifeboat crew where he was given a VIP tour of the rescue boat that ferried him to safety.

The youngster was reunited with the team that saved him. Credit: ITV Calendar

Raviraj survived by following the RNLI's 'float to live' advice.

The ‘Float to Live’ advice is a key message in the RNLI’s national drowning prevention campaign, Respect the Water. It urges people to follow this potentially lifesaving advice if they find themselves in trouble after falling into cold water:

  • Fight your instinct to swim hard or thrash about – this can lead to breathing in water and drowning

  • Instead, relax and float on your back, until you have regained control of your breathing

Click to find out more about RNLI beach safety advice