Two members of Blackpool’s Beach Patrol team have been honoured for bravery following the dramatic rescue of a teenager in 2018.
Sam Taylor, Beach Patrol Officer and Richard Williams, Beach Patrol Manager, were presented with a certificate of Meritorious Action by Peter Moyes, President of the Royal Life Saving Society.
Both men were praised for the actions that they took on July 9, 2018, while both off-duty, to rescue 13 year-old Blake Bullock, from Bispham.
Blake was swimming with friends at Anchorsholme when he felt an undercurrent dragging him further out. He tried to return to the shore but he couldn’t and quickly became out of his depth and cold.
Sam was passing by and spotted the teenager clinging on to a construction stanchion. Sam contacted his colleague Richard, and the two of them rescued the Montgomery High School student, who escaped with minor injuries.
Richard said: “Sam acted swiftly to raise the alarm. Blake was lucky that Sam had spotted him as he had left work for the day. The teenager was in a very precarious situation. We are just delighted that we were able to bring him back to shore safely.”
Sam and Richard were joined on land by Fleetwood Coastguard auxiliary teams, paramedics and the RNLI.
Coun Gillian Campbell, Blackpool Council Deputy Leader, said: “The quick thinking and speedy actions of both men is to be applauded. It was a courageous act to selflessly go out into the water to assist a young man in difficulty.
“Incidents such as this show quite clearly how important Blackpool beach patrol is as well as other rescue organisations such as the RNLI and coastguard in helping to keep beach users safe.”
Following the rescue, Richard was ‘rewarded’ with more good news. Richard had lost his wedding ring during the rescue when he handed it to Sam’s girlfriend along with his keys and wallet. Against all odds it was eventually found by a member of the North West Metal Detecting Club.
Richard added: “Paddling and swimming in the sea is extremely enjoyable particularly on a beautiful day. However, people should always be mindful of the power of the sea and the potential dangers of incoming tides and currents. I would urge everyone to read beach information and warning signs as they are there for safety reasons.”