Sunderland lifeboat rescues 12-year-old boy from sea

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A SCHOOLBOY is helped onboard a lifeboat after becoming stranded off the coast.

Lifeboat volunteers today issued a safety warning to jetskiers after a father and son were left stranded in choppy waters.

Crew members at Sunderland RNLI Station were called into action after the pair’s machine broke down near Featherbed Rocks, Seaham.

It followed an emergency telephone call to Humber Coastguard from a member of the public concerned about the safety of the riders who “appeared to be in difficulty”.

The Relief Atlantic 85 lifeboat, supported by the shore-based Coastguard Rescue Team, were at the scene within minutes.

Helmsman Clive Fallon said: “The initial information we received was that the jetski and its riders had been sitting stationary for a long period and were being blown offshore by the strong south-westerly breeze.

“The lifeboat quickly located the jetski, which was spotted about half-a-mile offshore from Featherbed Rocks.”

Mr Fallon said the dad and his 12-year-old son were safely taken ashore, along with their jetski.

“They were transferred onboard the lifeboat and fitted with lifejackets and blankets to help keep them warm for the short journey back to the shore,” he said.

“After securing the jetski to a rope, the two riders were taken back to the beach where they were landed into the care of Coastguard officers.”

Following the incident on Monday afternoon, Mr Fallon reminded jetskiers to follow a series of safety tips, including letting friends and family know where they are going, carrying an SOS device, wearing a lifejacket, ensuring they have enough fuel, and keeping track of tides and weather.

“We urge everyone taking to the water on a jetski to ensure that they are wearing suitable warm clothing and a lifejacket or buoyancy aid which will help keep them afloat if they end up falling into the water,” said Mr Fallon.

“In an attempt to help reduce the number of similar incidents, we urge all boat and ski owners to ensure that they follow our sea safety tips.”

The RNLI offers a free safety and advice service, SEA Check, for jet-skis and boats.