First News


- Royal National Lifeboat Institution

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.

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