Monday 22 December 2014

Teen rescued from sea after Facebook SOS

Anita McSorley

Published 12/07/2014 | 15:26

The 18-year-old was tossed into the water after his dinghy capsized off Mevagissey in Cornwall last night.

A teenager who was drowning at sea had a lucky escape when he used his mobile phone to post a SOS on social media website Facebook.

The 18-year-old was tossed into the water after his dinghy capsized off Mevagissey in Cornwall last night.

He was able to reach his mobile phone, however it had no signal to make a 999 call.

He then typed out the word ‘STRANDED’ and posted it on his Facebook page.

His mother spotted the post and called police just before 11pm who then contacted the Brixham Coastguard.

He was discovered in the water half a mile out to sea by an inshore lifeboat who took him to the Royal Cornwall Hospital in Truro.

Andy Huber, Watch Manager at Brixham Coastguard, said that he was 'extremely lucky' to be found alive.

“This young man was extremely lucky to be found when he was," he said.

"He told rescuers that his mobile phone had got wet and he couldn’t make a 999 call to the Coastguard. However, he did manage to post something on Facebook.

“He also told lifeboat crews he had been in the water for two hours and was trying to swim back to shore, even though he did not have a buoyancy aid or life-jacket on.”

He said that those planning to go out on the water should carry a VHF radio, a charged mobile phone in a waterproof bag, distress flares and an emergency beacon.

“These will all help you alert the coastguard if you’re in trouble, and a much more reliable way than posting for help on social media,” he added.

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