On 21st March 2021 at 5.28pm crews were paged to a Mayday call from a jetski that had capsized near Hythe. Launching both the Atlantic 85 lifeboat ‘Max Walls’ and D class lifeboat ‘Willett’, the volunteer crews made best speed to the incident. On arrival, the two casualties had managed to make it to shore, where they were being cared for by two local teenage brothers, Jake, 17, and Mikey, 14, that had seen events unfold. Recognising the danger that the casualties were in, the brothers used their own dry clothes to keep the casualties warm until they could receive further help.
Both boys say they just “Knew what they had to do”, with Mikey learning lifesaving skills at ‘Rookies’ Swim Academy (based at Applemore Leisure Centre) and Jake previously attending the Royal Air Force Air Cadets. The two volunteer crew members carried both casualties the short distance from the beach to the boat and after a short transfer, they were successfully handed over to paramedics from South Central Ambulance Service for ongoing care.
Helm Tony Carrier said: “The casualties had a radio with them and were able to issue a Mayday call to alert us to their predicament. Even though we’ve had fine weather in recent days, the water temperature is still very cold and even a short period in the water can be extremely dangerous. Both casualties had ingested some seawater, adding the risk of secondary drowning into the equation.” Both brothers have high aspirations for the future. Jake currently attends Totton College where he is enrolled on the Steps To Success course, hoping to do a Uniformed Public Services course next year,with the intention of joining the Royal Navy next summer, and Mikey has always had his sightsfirmly set on joining the Police Force, although after seeing the RNLI in action he now has a real interest in the coastguard. Hannah Avoth, Totton College Vice Principal and Centre Lead said: “Totton College is incredibly proud of Jake, and the quick thinking he and his brother displayed when leaping to help those injured in this accident. Jake is a committed student and we are proud to be helping him pursue his dream of joining the Navy.” Alan Chipping, Head Teacher at Applemore College said: “All the students and staff at Applemore are immensely proud of the bravery and presence of mind that Mikey and his brother showed under such challenging circumstances. Mikey is a true role-model for our ‘Applemore Ethos’.”
When asked how they felt about being classed as ‘heroes’ both Jake and Mikey said: “We just knew instinctively that we had to try and get them warm and dry – the thing we were most worried about was that no-one was going to believe us as to why we were late home, our phones kept ringing and ringing whilst we were on the shoreline but obviously, we couldn’t answer them!” Lifeboat Operations Manager and On Duty Deputy Launching Authority Diane Carrier added: “Without a doubt the quick thinking of Jake and Mikey on the shore helped to keep the casualties body temperature from dropping further. They should be incredibly proud of their actions and we are looking forward to welcoming them to the station to express our thanks in person, when government restrictions allow.”