MY HERO SON SAVED MY LIFE
Dad ‘extremely proud’ of Joe’s award:
ATEENAGER who saved his father’s life when their kayak capsized has received national recognition for his courage.
In February, 13-year-old Joe Rowlands was kayaking off the coast of Anglesey with his father Paul.
The pair were about a mile from shore when the kayak started to fill with water, soon capsizing.
Paul, who was 50 at the time, managed to get Joe to sit on top of the upturned kayak.
With the kayak unable to take the weight of them both, Paul, from Nantwich, then decided to kick his way towards Ynys Dulas - dragging the kayak with him.
After struggling in the water for half an hour, the Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service station manager realised they’d hardly moved. He said: “It’s at this point that I realised our only chance of survival was to leave the craft and swim to a rock that was approximately half way between us and the shoreline, which was some half a mile away.”
At that moment, Paul was just thinking about keeping his son safe, aware that they needed to act quickly and rescue themselves.
“Joe said he thought we were going to die and his final wish was a kiss from me,” he said.
The pair kissed each other before setting off swimming.
Hypothermia and exhaustion soon got to Paul, who passed out several times.
His last memory of the ordeal was thinking that his teenage son was safely on a nearby rock.
As Paul drifted in and out of consciousness, Joe jumped off the rock and back into the freezing water.
He managed to drag his dad to the rock, where he began chest compressions followed by mouth-tomouth resuscitation until Paul came around.
The teenager begged for his dad to stay awake, and together they made their way from the rock to a remote island.
Here the pair found shelter in a disused open tower, previously built for shipwrecked sailors, where the father and son huddled together to keep warm.
Finally, more than two hours later, they were rescued by the RNLI.
Now Joe, who has since turned 14, has received the Teenager of Courage award as part of the Daily Mirror’s Pride of Britain Awards.
Paul said of his son: “I know I can never really repay him for saving my life and I’m extremely proud of him.”
The Awards, in partnership with TSB, take place at London’s Grosvenor House and are set to be broadcast on ITV next Tuesday.
Brave teen Joe kept his dad Paul alive when their kayak capsized during a trip out
Joe Rowlands and his proud dad Paul, and below, after saving his life when their kayak capsized