Dad thanks rescuers

A FATHER who was caught out by the tide and winds as he and his step-daughter played in an inflatable dinghy today thanked and praised their rescuers.Ian Parkhouse and seven-year-old Priscilla Dias bought the toy dinghy during a three-day trip to Felixstowe.

A FATHER who was caught out by the tide and winds as he and his step-daughter played in an inflatable dinghy today thanked and praised their rescuers.

Ian Parkhouse and seven-year-old Priscilla Dias bought the toy dinghy during a three-day trip to Felixstowe.

But they hadn't realised the dangers of using the toy on the open-sea - and had to be rescued and brought back to the beach half-a-mile off Pier Bight by the Felixstowe Volunteer Coast Patrol Rescue Service.

He warned others to be on their guard if playing with similar toys on the water.


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“The dinghy was apparently meant to be for up to four people but it was very light,” said Mr Parkhouse, of Sutton, Surrey.

“I was rowing out and before I knew it we were quite a long way out - we had gone out very easily because of the wind and the tide.

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“But then I started to try to row back and just kept moving further out.

“I didn't realise about the currents. I also think these are rather dangerous items to sell at the seaside - I think shops should think twice about whether they ought to stock them.”

Mr Parkhouse said he and Priscilla had been very grateful for the help of the volunteer rescue service.

“They were absolutely fantastic and we were so glad they were there,” he said.

John Cresswell, chairman of the rescue service, “These are only toys and not intended for the open sea - they are easily damaged, may have only one or two buoyancy chambers, and may be taken offshore by the slightest breeze or tides and are not designed to be rowed.

“While able to be a source of great fun if securely tethered to the shore with an adult attending, they can so easily be turned into a deathtrap for youngsters or indeed adults.”

What do you think of the work of the Felixstowe Volunteer Coast Patrol Rescue Service? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

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