Lifeboat crew thanked by sea rescue woman

RNLI volunteer crew members Jonathan Horrocks and Alan Gilchrist meet Uzma Khan, the woman they rescued from the sea off Blackpool
RNLI volunteer crew members Jonathan Horrocks and Alan Gilchrist meet Uzma Khan, the woman they rescued from the sea off Blackpool
0
Have your say

A volunteer lifeboat crew enjoyed an emotional reunion with a young woman who they saved from drowning in the sea off Blackpool.

Uzma Khan visited the RNLI team at Blackpool Lifeboat Station, on central Promenade, on Thursday, after being plucked from the sea off North Shore on Tuesday evening.

The 26-year-old from Blackpool had been walking on the beach when she became stranded on a sandbank as the tide came in, shortly before 8pm.

Volunteers Jonathan Horrocks, Alan Gilchrist and David Warburton were scrambled to rescue her, finding Ms Khan exhausted and hypothermic, struggling to keep her head above water.

But it was only upon meeting her again two days later that they learned she cannot swim.

Mr Gilchrist, who has volunteered with the RNLI for five years, said: “It was lovely for Uzma to come down, it was nice to see her happy, safe, warm and dry this time.

“I dread to think what could have happened to her.

“There’s no ifs or buts with this case because she couldn’t swim.

“We could see her flailing in the water and she must’ve thought those were her last moments.

“She managed to keep going though and we got to her.

It was lovely for Uzma to come down, it was nice to see her happy, safe, warm and dry this time

“It’s a privilege to do this job and we’re all proud to do it.

“I was buzzing to have rescued her and then to end it all by meeting her was lovely.”

Ms Khan was treated by the crew onboard the D-class lifeboat before being taken to waiting ambulance crews on shore.

She is now making a good recovery following her ordeal.

Blackpool's RNLI crew pluck a woman from the sea in North Shore

Blackpool's RNLI crew pluck a woman from the sea in North Shore

RNLI volunteer Esther Robbins added: “Ms Khan can’t swim which made the ordeal even more traumatic for her, she was very distressed and very cold.

“Even though it was a hot day the sea temperature was only around 13 degrees celsius.

“The crew were really pleased to meet her, she was very grateful and sweet.”

RNLI bosses are now hoping Ms Khan’s lucky escape will remind people to take care and be vigilant when enjoying the Fylde’s coastline this summer.

Mr Horrocks said: “It’s important to be vigilant when you are on the beach, make sure that you always have a safe route to shore and keep checking to make sure that the tide is not coming in around you.”