Dad tells how his 10-year-old son survived after being swept out to sea off Scarborough

A 10-year-old boy's father has told of his son's ordeal after surviving in the sea off Scarborough’s South Bay for nearly an HOUR.

By Sue Wilkinson
Thursday, 6th August 2020, 11:32 am
Updated Thursday, 6th August 2020, 2:43 pm

The boy got into difficulties and, after his father tried and failed to reach him, he was swept along the entire length of the South Bay by the wind and tide.

Now, dad Nathu ram Kacwhawa has told The Scarborough News of the incredible events.

Nathu, a chef, saw his son Ravi in the sea and called to him to come back to shore.

Scarborough's South Bay

When it became clear Ravi could not make it, Nathu waded in but was beaten back by the strength of the tide.

“At this point we were near the Spa complex,” he said. “When I couldn’t get to Ravi I ran from the Spa along the seafront to the coastguard and so many people came to help me.

“The coastguard told me not to worry and that they would do everything they could to find him, including sending up a drone and helicopter.

“That gave me confidence that Ravi would be OK,” he said.

Ravi Kacwhawa spent nearly an hour in the water in Scarborough's South Bay

The incident happened last Friday, at around 7pm, while Ravi and his family from Leeds were enjoying a day out at the beach.

Scarborough Coastguard Rescue Team, a Coastguard helicopter, Scarborough RNLI’s inshore lifeboat and Scarborough Police were involved in the rescue.

The youngster was in the sea for almost an hour, being swept from the sea in front of the Spa to Vincent Pier, where he was heard shouting for help.

He was picked up by the inshore lifeboat.

Scarborough's inshore lifeboat

Ravi told his rescuers he survived by following advice he had seen on the BBC documentary Saving Lives at Sea.

He adopted the position recommended by the RNLI for anyone who finds themselves in trouble in the water– floating on the back with arms and legs spread out.

The RNLI and Coastguard both praised the boy’s courage and presence of mind for surviving in the chilly sea.

Scarborough RNLI coxswain Lee Marton said: “We were told that he’d been watching lifeboat rescues on the BBC documentary Saving Lives at Sea and had followed the advice given on the show.

Ravi and his family

“We’re very much in awe of this incredible lad, who managed to remain calm and follow safety advice to the letter in terrifying and stressful circumstances.

“Had he not, the outcome might have been very different.”

Ravi was taken to the lifeboat station where he was reunited with his family before being taken for a precautionary check-up at Scarborough Hospital by the Yorkshire Ambulance Service.

He was released from hospital the next day.

His dad said: “Ravi loves the outdoors. We have been to Southport and Blackpool as well as Scarborough.

“He loves being on the beach, at lake sides and the forest.

“He is doing fine after his ordeal.”

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