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Dramatic rescue on Formby beach when a woman almost drowned in front of her children


A dramatic rescue took place on Sunday 18th June on Formby beach. When the sun was blazing on the hottest day of the year so far, a woman was swimming in the incoming tide with her two children when she got into difficulty.


The woman's daughter that was with her in the water, was shouting frantically for help when 14-year-old Liam Pastore, who is an amateur boxer from Manchester heard the girls cry for help. Liam was visiting Formby beach for the day with a friend and her family,


Liam said: "I heard a young girl shouting for someone to help her mum so I swam over to see what was wrong and saw a woman under the water! The woman was unconscious. I swam over to her and grabbed her head to keep it above the water and tried to get her back as quick as I could."


Jessica Cole was on the beach at the time and she said: "The ladies son came out of the water and asked me to help, my husband ran into the water and I pointed the lifeguards out and told her son to run for help."


"When my husband got out to the woman, she was with her step-daughter and a 14 year old boy who had come over to help. The woman was unconscious as we know now that she couldn't swim and due to the tide coming in, was out of her depth. The two teens did not leave her and had done everything they could but just could not manage to bring her all the way back in but had between them got her to waist deep water. By this time they were tired and the lady was slipping under the water."


"I shouted for help and ran to a man who was taking photos of his daughter, I held his camera and he helped lift her onto the beach. She was laid on her back. I remember shouting to put her on her side. My husband, Richard Cole who is 38-years-old was then trying desperately with the two teenagers to bring the woman back. The lifeguards came and took over."

A spokesperson for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) lifeguards , Clare Hopps said: "We took part in the multi-agency operation to assist the lady who had got into difficulty at Formby beach on Sunday 18th June.

"At around 4.55pm the charity’s lifeguards responded to reports that a women was struggling in the sea outside of the RNLI’s red and yellow flags (the lifeguarded area and safest place to swim)."

"RNLI lifeguard Kieran Leith quickly attended the scene and found that the casualty had a high breathing rate and was drifting in and out of consciousness."

"Thankfully a member of the public, who was already at the scene, had helped the lady out of the water. Kieran then worked with members of Southport Rescue to move her further away from the tideline to safety."

"Fellow RNLI lifeguard Jack Barwise arrived to administer oxygen and the team kept her in a stable condition until the paramedics arrived. She was then taken to hospital by Air Ambulance."

"The woman’s two children who were also at the beach were given a casualty care check and received the all-clear."

RNLI Lifeguard Supervisor, Richard Goodacre said: "The beach was very busy yesterday as the sweltering temperatures meant that everyone had flocked to the seaside. We worked closely with Southport Rescue, paramedics and the Coastguard to ensure that the woman received swift and effective casualty care treatment."

"We’d always advise people to visit a lifeguarded beach and to swim between the red and yellow flags. Our lifeguards were pleased to be able to assist during the multi-agency call and we wish the lady a speedy recovery."


The lady, who was thought to be in her 30's was stabilised and due to the beach being so busy, the Paramedics called for the Air Ambulance who air-lifted the lady to Aintree Hospital as a precautionary measure just to check she was okay.


Jessica Cole said: "The step daughter had not left her step mum, she had been so amazing and then her son had left them to get help, he didn't want to leave but it was their only real chance of saving their mum, and then this boy who had gone over to help all acted wiser than their very young years and I'm not sure whether at the time they knew how brave they were."


"My husband told me that whilst he was out there, for a little while he wondered whether he would make it back out again, such a scary situation for all involved. It was a really calm sea too but it does come in quickly. Had her son not have come out exactly when he did, his mum would have died in there. It was such a team effort and I'm relieved that the outcome was seemingly the best it could have been."


So two clear heros in this story, 14-year-old Liam Pastore and 38-year old Richard Cole. If Liam had not swam over, the woman would certainly have drowned. If Richard had not tried to resuscitate the woman, the outcome may have been completely different.

Well done to everyone involved.


There has been some confusion on social media regarding the casualty. Some people and news outlets have reported it was an eight year old girl when in fact she was the daughter of the patient.

Hero of the day, 14-year-old Liam Pastore

The Ambulance waiting in Lifeboat Road car park

The Coastguard 4x4 at Lifeboat Road

RNLI quad bike making their way back to the beach with more supplies

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