A YOUNG boy was saved from drowning off the North Yorkshire coast after several members of the public mounted a dramatic rescue mission.
The seven-year-old fell into the water from rocks near Whitby pier on Saturday afternoon and was carried out to sea by a rip current.
Having seen the boy fall in, two women leapt into the water fully-clothed to try and save him.
Gemma Grievseon, 29, from Coulby Newham, near Middlesbrough, and another woman, thought to be from Darlington, both swam towards the youngster as he was carried out to sea.
Someone else then threw a lifebelt and the two women, struggling against the sea, managed to get it over the boy who was then pulled back to shore by Gemma’s partner, Lee Jones, and others.
Yet more people then helped bring the boy back to dry land and two brothers helped pull the two rescuers from the choppy water.
Witness Ali Roffey was at the resort with her boyfriend Jan-Erik Bullet and his brother Dale and family as the drama unfolded.
“Dale saw a crowd on the pier throw a buoy down into the water,” she said.
“They ran across the rocks and along the wall edge to rescue two ladies who had gone in fully clothed to save the boy.
“I ran after on the rocks to find Jan and a helper rotating the unconscious and blue boy who was being sick. I covered him in a jumper and ran ahead to shore to the lifeguard.”
Ms Roffey added: “The two ladies risked their lives too as the sea was very rough.”
Ms Grieveson was modest about her role.
“We both went straight in without thinking about it. You would expect others to do it if it was your child,” she said.
After being administered with oxygen the boy was flown to hospital by air ambulance along with his grandmother, who was said to be shocked and distressed.
Matt Kaiser, the supervisor who coordinated the RNLI lifeguards during the incident said: "Full credit to Gemma, Lee and other members of the public who acted quickly to save the young boy.
"Without their intervention the outcome could have been very different."
In another incident, Whitby’s inshore lifeboat was scrambled to help a yacht that ran aground in heavy surf on Friday.
They found the yacht by the side of the west pier shortly before 5.30pm and the resort’s all-weather lifeboat was sent to assist with the recovery.
A crewman was transferred to the stricken vessel and the inshore lifeboat then passed a towline from the all-weather lifeboat to the casualty vessel – an operation made difficult by the weather conditions Once a tow was established the all-weather lifeboat pulled the yacht into deeper water and past the surf line where the vessel was able to restart its engine and proceed to Whitby harbour at 6.28pm.