Parents Bill RNLI £7 For Loss Of Lilo After Saving Child In £7,000 Rescue Mission
The parents of a child who got swept out to sea and had to be saved have sent the Royal National Lifeboat Institution a £7 bill for an inflatable lilo.
Crew members from the local RNLI branch rushed to save the young girl who had drifted out just off the coast of Porthleven, in Cornwall.
President of the RNLI branch, Mike Carter, said a rescue helicopter had to be used to save the child.
The crew then jumped into the water and pulled the little girl to safety, leaving her inflatable lilo behind.
According to the commanding officer, the rescue mission cost around £7,000 and they were horrified when they received the bill for just £7.
Speaking to Bristol Live, Mr Carter 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."
Mr Carter said his commanding officer replied directly to the family, saying the RNLI would pay for the cost of replacing their child's lilo - as long as the parents paid the £7,000 for the cost of the helicopter.
He said: "Two weeks later the commanding officer (CO) 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."
Mr Carter reminded residents that inflatables often pose a danger to people's safety and that this is not the first time they have been called out for a similar incident.
Last week, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency shared a similar message, warning people to be careful when out in the water.
They said: "Inflatable unicorns, watermelons, dinosaurs, you name it, we've seen it.
"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."
Featured Image Credit: PA