Waterproof pouch helped to save a boy’s life

When a young paddleboarder got into difficulty in Welsh waters his waterproof pouch helped to save the boy’s life.

AFTER a 17-year-old fell into the sea and was struggling to swim, his waterproof phone pouch helped save his life, and the rescue is now being used by RNLI coastal service to promote an important safety message.

Thankfully, Alfie was also wearing a safety lifejacket, but without being able to make a desperate 999 call, the RNLI coastal service may never have found the young lad.

The incident happened when Alfie took to the water off Gwynedd.

Fighting against the waves about 400m (1,300ft) off the coast and having lost his paddleboard, he managed to call the emergency services and relay the message, “I’m really struggling.”

Struggling and fighting the situation would have only made the matter worse for Alfie as he later relayed that he thought the waves were getting worse.

Luckily, the call handler has been trained to keep calm, and more importantly, to try to get the person struggling to stay calm, advising Alfie to lay back and float on the waves while awaiting rescue.

A helicopter and RNLI volunteers from Abersoch Lifeboat Station were called.

Here is RNLI footage and audio from the coastguard that has been shared on Twitter.


The coastguard call handler told Alfie to remain calm; “Just keep breathing in and out slowly and just relax and you will float.

“Luckily, you are wearing your lifejacket.”

After Alfie started to worry, stating “I’m starting to get very scared,” the call handler reassured Alfie saying, “Please, please, please Alfie don’t panic at all. Stay on your back.”

As the helicopter neared you can hear Alfie’s excitement as he was about to get rescued and video footage then shows Alfie being rescued by the lifeboat crew.

The lucky 17-year-old was then airlifted to hospital after showing signs of hypothermia after the rescue off Aberdaron last month.

His father visited the lifeboat station to thank staff after Alfie was discharged the following day.

In an RNLI statement, they highlighted the importance of having a phone on you: “Taking a means of calling for help when heading out around the coast can make all the difference.”

Seven thousand free waterproof phone pouches have been given out in the last 24 hours after the video was released, according to the RNLI, as part of its joint beach safety campaign with the coastguard service.

An amazing job by all concerned and we are glad that Alfie is doing well.

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Written by

Matthew Roscoe

Originally from the UK, Matthew is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at editorial@euroweeklynews.com.