SURVIVING AT SEA
AS we were sending last week’s First News front cover to the printers, with its story about staying safe in the water, a brave ten-year-old boy was explaining how choosing to float instead of swim probably saved his life last month.
Ravi Saini was swept out to sea while on a day trip with his family to South Bay beach in Scarborough on 31 July.
Ravi managed to survive for over an hour thanks to valuable advice about floating (not swimming!) that he remembered watching on a BBC documentary, Saving Lives At Sea.
Rescuers eventually found Ravi shouting for help while floating on his back in the water, with his arms and legs spread evenly, just like a starfish. This is widely known as the ‘float to live’ technique and is a key message in the RNLI’s drowning prevention campaign, Respect the Water.
Ravi told the BBC: “I realised I was floating and I was like: ‘Help me, help me’.
“My dad tried to come but the water was higher than him.”
He added: “I was petrified and I thought that this was the end of my life.”
But, after what he said felt like “five hours”, Ravi heard the lifeboats approaching him and he was saved.
The RNLI was so impressed by Ravi’s quickthinking and bravery, they awarded him some RNLI goodies and a VIP tour of the RNLI base.