Teenager saved from drowning

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A TEENAGER feared he was going to drown while swimming in the sea until he was dramatically rescued by a passing kayaker.

Louie Barnes, 15, of Scutes Close, was cooling off with friends near the harbour arm last Thursday when he got into difficulty around 5pm.

Heavy waves kept pounding the teenager as he swam for shore and after 10 minutes he began swallowing water and fearing for his life.

A man in a kayak raced to his aid after seeing him in distress.

He tossed out a rope and pulled Louie into the shore. But the waves capsized the kayak as the pair were about 20 metres off the beach.

Another man threw out a life saving rescue buoy and pulled the pair to shore.

Louie was taken to the Conquest Hospital where he was treated for swallowing water. The William Parker Sports College schoolboy said: “I really thought I was going to drown. The waves were just too big and kept pushing me under. I was trying to get back to shore. A man in a kayak suddenly appeared and threw me a rope. He towed me back to shore, but then it capsized which was really scary.

“We were both hanging on to the kayak when somebody threw us a line and we managed to pull ourselves to shore. I swallowed a load of water.

“I thought I might die and this guy saved my life. I really just want to thank him in person but have no idea who he was.”

Louie’s mother Karen Cramp, 41, said: “I’m told he lost about £2,000 worth of fishing tackle while trying to save Louie.

“He saved my son’s life. We really want to meet him and thank him in person so if anyone knows who he is please get in touch.”

If you know who the man in the kayak was called our newsdesk on 01424 856760.