Coastguard issues sea safety warning after rescue drama

FELIXSTOWE: A safety warning was today issued to swimmers in the resort after a teenager was swept into deep waters on an inflatable dinghy.

The 17-year-old boy managed to frantically swim to shore before passing out upon reaching the beach.

The Felixstowe Coastguard, Harwich RNLI Inshore Lifeboat and the East of England Ambulance Service were called to the shore near Felixstowe Ferry at shortly after 4pm on Friday after the alarm was raised.

The teen had ventured into the water on a toy dinghy before high winds pulled him into deep water.

A spokeswoman for Thames Coastguard said the boy had begun to panic and jumped into the water to avoid being pulled further out to sea.

He struggled to swim against the tide but eventually made it back to land.

The spokeswoman said: “Luckily, he had managed to pull himself to shore before we arrived at the scene.

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“It is never safe to use a toy inflatable in high winds and we would always advise people to stay on top of the dinghy rather than entering the water.”

The youngster is believed to have passed out when paramedics arrived on scene and was taken to hospital.

Winds swept over the Suffolk coastline during the weekend, with gusts reaching up to 30mph in some areas.

Yarmouth Coastguard urged beachgoers not to use inflatable toys in the sea and to only swim at a life-guarded beach.

Watch manager Mario Siano said: “It only takes a few seconds for an inflatable dinghy to be swept out to sea and less than that for it to flip over and leave someone in the water a long way from shore.

“We ask all beach users to exercise common sense on days like this and to leave the inflatables for the swimming pool.”

n Do you know the boy who was rescued? Call the newsdesk on 01473 324790 or e-mail starnews@eveningstar.co.uk