Authorities in Wales have recently released harrowing audio recordings of a teenager’s desperate call for help after getting swept out to sea. 17-year-old Alfie was reportedly paddleboarding off the coast of Gwynedd on August 10th when he became separated from his board, according to Ladbible.
Before heading out on his paddleboard, Alfie had taken the precaution of storing his phone in a waterproof pouch, a decision that ultimately saved his life. Audio and video footage released by the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) captures the teenager’s panicked call for help and the rescue operation that it sparked. In the emergency call, Alfie can be heard telling the operator that he was drowning. “I’m 400 metres off the coast. Uh, I don’t know where it is. By Pwllheli – the two islands off the coast,” he said.
The coastguard rescue operator then asked him if he was on a paddleboard or a kayak. “Right, I had a paddleboard, but now I’m drowning,” Alfie responded. The operator then instructed Alfie to stay awake and not to panic, as the coastguard scrambled to set a rescue operation in motion. According to Wales Online, rescuers said that Alfie’s decision to wear a wetsuit, lifejacket and to store his phone in a waterproof pouch saved his life.
Though an outgoing tide and rising waves hampered visibility, rescuers managed to locate him after 40 minutes. He was airlifted and flown to a hospital. RNLI wrote on YouTube while sharing footage of the rescue “When 17-year-old Alfie headed out on his paddleboard, he grabbed his phone and put it in a waterproof pouch. Little did he know that decision would save his life…”. Rescuers said that Alfie had swallowed a lot of seawater and showed signs of hypothermia. He was flown to the hospital and released the same day after recovering.
The RNLI has issued a reminder of the importance of safety equipment and proper training for paddleboarding. They suggest that all paddleboarders carry safety equipment and a form of communication in addition to wearing the safety leash. They urged to get proper training, stay within your capabilities and tell someone your going and your expected time to return.
The incident serves as a reminder of the importance of being prepared and taking the necessary safety precautions when engaging in water activities. It also highlights the crucial role that technology can play in emergency situations, as the waterproof pouch that Alfie used to protect his phone ultimately played a vital role in his rescue.