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Parents bill RNLI for £7 lilo as child saved in helicopter rescue after drifting out to sea

Birmingham Mail logo Birmingham Mail 13/08/2019 John Bett & James Rodger
a helicopter flying in the air © Provided by Reach Publishing Services Limited

A mum and dad have sent the RNLI a bill for a £7 lilo after their child was saved in a £7,000 helicopter rescue.

The child's parents have sent the bill to rescuers after her life was saved when she drifted out to sea.

Bristol Live reports a £7,000 rescue mission was launched to save her, with a rescue helicopter even roped in to get the girl back to safety.

The harrowing incident unfolded off the coast of Cornwall.

The child's heroic rescuers were stunned to be sent an invoice by the girl's mum and dad.

Mike Carter, president of the RNLI branch, said a rescue helicopter had to be used to save the youngster when she got into a precarious situation.

A crew member then jumped into the water to save the girl, but left her inflatable lilo in the water off Porthleven.

red ship in a body of water © Provided by Reach Publishing Services Limited

Mike said: "A family visiting Porthleven purchased a lilo from a local shop and went to the beach.

"There was an off-shore wind and the parents immediately experienced their child waving goodbye as the lilo went further and further out.

"The coastguard scrambled the SAR helicopter which was soon on scene.

"The diver jumped from the the helicopter and saved the child. He instantly put a knife through the lilo to save any further drifting and they were both winched to safety."

After receiving the invoice, Mike said the rescuer replied saying they would happily pay - if the family paid for the cost of launching the helicopter.

Related: Incredibly daring rescue missions (StarsInsider)

He said: "Two weeks later the commanding officer of 771 received a request to pay an invoice for £7 the cost of the lilo.

"The CO wrote replying: 'I will be happy to pay your invoice on receipt of payment for the helicopter rescue £7,000.' No response was received."

Mike said inflatables in the sea pose a constant threat, and only last week the Maritime and Coastguard Agency posted a similar warning.

They said: "Inflatable unicorns, watermelons, dinosaurs, you name it, we’ve seen it.

Related: History's worst maritime disasters (Espresso)

"Keep your floating friends for the pool. They may pose well for Insta, but they can also pose a danger when up against strong currents and wind, sweeping you out to sea.

"Remember, supervise kids and call #999Coastguard if you spot an inflatable drifting at sea or yours gets blown away."

Explore the issues faced by the UK’s most vulnerable children and young people this summer and discover what you can do to help.

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