'I thought I'd lost him' - family speaks out after RNLI rescue

  • Watch Grace Pascoe's report

Ben Williamson from Manchester was bodyboarding at Perran Sands back in August this year when he got swept out to sea in a strong rip current.

Ben says he went slightly further out to sea to try to catch a wave and found himself in deep water, being pushed out to sea.

He said: "I realised that I wasn't going to be able to swim back in and then at that point I started all sorts of things, am I going to get out of it, am I going to die."

Ben's wife Hannah was on the beach with their three children when she realised her husband was in difficulty, two surfers jumped into the water to help get Ben out of the churning surf.

Mrs Williamson said: "People say 'oh gosh that was scary', but I've never in my life felt fear like that, it was stomach churning.

"I never want to that kind of incident again. It was horrendous, but he's safe and he’s here and it’s all thanks to the RNLI."

People on the beach helped Hannah contact the Coastguard and the helicopter arrived on scene in around 15 minutes, followed by the St Agnes inshore RNLI lifeboat.

Richard Draisey was one of the St Agnes RNLI team that rescued the trio.

The RNLI rescued the three men and took them back to Perran Sands to be reunited with their families. Credit: RNLI

"We arrived on scene at same time as helicopter, they'd located the three in the water and we were tasked to pick them up.

"You could see the real relief in Ben’s face, the two lads had done a great job in calming him down."

Ben says if it was not for RNLI volunteers, he wouldn't be celebrating Christmas with his family.

The RNLI’s Christmas Appeal hopes to raise over £2million in donations after a challenging year which has meant spending more on PPE and adapting to coronavirus restrictions.

For 2020, the RNLI purchased 6.7 million units of coronavirus PPE - including almost 700,000 face masks, 2.4 million gloves and just under 5,000 litres of hand sanitiser.

They’re asking anyone who can make a donation to head to the RNLI’s Christmas Appeal by visiting RNLI.org/Xmas

Read more: