A 10-year-old boy survived for more than an hour at sea after following advice from a documentary by floating on his back in the water with his arms and legs spread shouting for help.
Raviraj Saini was reported missing after being swept out to sea near Scarborough Spa in Yorkshire last Friday evening.
After the lifeboat crew carried out a shoreline search, he had floated nearly the whole distance of the South Bay and was found following ‘Float to Live’ instructions which he had seen on the BBC show Saving Lives at Sea.
Lee Marton, Coxswain at Scarborough Lifeboat Station, said: ‘We were told that he’d been watching lifeboat rescues on the BBC documentary Saving Lives at Sea and had followed the advice given on the show.
‘We’re very much in awe of this incredible lad, who managed to remain calm and follow safety advice to the letter in terrifying and stressful circumstances. Had he not, the outcome might have been very different.’
The boy was taken to the lifeboat station where he was reunited with his family before going for a precautionary check-up at the hospital, according to the RNLI.
The 10-year-old told The Sun: ‘My message to other people if they are ever in the same situation is to never give up and stay strong and have hope in yourself.
‘To the people who rescued me — I would like to thank them. They are my heroes.’
His father Nathu Ram, 37, rushed onto the beach to alert the coastguard after Raviraj was dragged out of his depth while the pair were playing in the water.
He expressed his gratitude towards the people who rescued his son, before adding: ‘But the television show saved his life, too.’
Saving Lives at Sea is a BBC2 documentary following the men and women of the RNLI, who volunteer to risk their lives to save others in danger.
The programme has aired for four series and has proved popular among viewers with its dramatic footage, emotional rescues as well as crucial advice straight from the mouths of RNLI crew members and lifeguards.
Float to Live, which has appeared in episodes of the documentary, forms part of the RNLI’s national drowning prevention campaign, Respect the Water, which advises people to follow this technique if they find themselves in trouble in the water.
The charity says people struggling at sea should ‘fight their instinct to swim hard or thrash about’, warning this can lead to ‘breathing in water and drowning’.
It says: ‘Instead, relax and FLOAT on your back, until you have regained control of your breathing.’