Yorkshire boy who saved toddler in sea 'did what anyone else would have done'

An 11-year-old boy has been hailed a hero after he jumped into the sea to save a toddler.

Eli Harrison did not think twice before launching his rescue in the harbour near his home in the picturesque North Yorkshire village of Staithes, his family said.

Eli's mother, Kayleigh, said he still does not think he has done anything special despite everyone saying he is a hero for saving the little boy's life.

Mrs Harrison said she had gone down to the beach to watch the tide coming in on Friday August 7 with her husband, Ian, and their three children - Eli, his elder brother Billy and younger sister Gypsie-Rose.

They spotted the small child floating among the boats about 33ft (10m) away.

She said Eli was so fast off the mark he had jumped off the pier and into the sea before anyone else had a chance to react.

"He is a hero," Mrs Harrison said.

But he still doesn't get what he's done. He just says 'I did what anyone else would have done, Mum'. He still thinks that going around saving people is quite normal.

Kayleigh Harrison, Eli's mother

Mrs Harrison said Eli swam to the shore with the little boy, who was hanging on to a fishing net and had been out of sight of his parents for just a "split second".

His grateful family gave Eli £10 and the toddler is understood to be fully recovered.

Healthcare assistant Mrs Harrison said Eli has lived in Staithes all his life and loves everything to do with the sea.

Credit: Press Association

She said: "He just wants people to remember not to take their eyes off their bairns because it all happened so quickly."

Mrs Harrison said he is an "amazing swimmer" and would like to be a lifeboat volunteer when he is older.

She said his great-grandfather and grandfather were local fishermen and Eli has the sea "in his blood".