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Hero teen Alex saves boy from the sea
A TEENAGER put his life-saving skills into action when he rescued a 10-year-old boy who was floundering in the sea after being caught in a deadly current.
Alex Griffin, aged 15, was surfing in Bude, Cornwall, during a family holiday when he spotted the youngster struggling.
The South Worcestershire Lifeguards assistant instructor paddled over to the boy who had been dragged out of his depth by the strong current and pulled him to safety.
“I was paddling out on my surfboard and he drifted across in front of me,” said Alex, of Magnolia Close, Drakes Broughton, near Worcester.
“He was struggling and couldn’t touch the bottom. I helped him on to my board and back to shore. He had been swept out in a rip current.
"He was quite far out and probably in water just less than six foot deep. When we got to shore I asked him if he was all right and told him how to be safe in the water.
“If I hadn’t been there he would probably have been swept a quarter of a mile along to the next beach.
"Rip currents will pull you out and can pull you under if they are very strong. My parents said they were very proud of me.”
Only this week a mother died trying to save her two sons from a lethal riptide at the same resort.
The two boys, aged 11 and 13, were bodyboarding when they were swept out to sea. They were rescued but the woman, who has not been named, drowned.
Alex has been a member of the South Worcestershire Lifesaving Club for two-and-a-half years and has recently qualified as an assistant instructor.
Roy Amphlett, president of the club, said it was great to hear that the skills taught to members had helped to save a life.
“He is a 15-year-old lad and he is already teaching some of the younger ones,” said Mr Amphlett.
“By the time they are this age they have been through training and already got the bronze medallion, then they get involved in the river patrols, as Alex is.
“Because he is one of those showing promise he has already undertaken some training for the river patrols, although they need to be 18 years old before they can get involved in that.
“We are proud of him, it is great to see the training is working and he can react so calmly.
“We will be putting him forward for some sort of recognition.”
Clive Corbett, the headteacher of Pershore High School where the teenager is a pupil, said they were really proud of Alex, who has just returned to school after the summer holidays.
He said: “In addition to being very busy in his final GCSE year it is wonderful to see Alex giving so much to the community and making such a difference in a meaningful and heroic way.”