“If I Hadn’t Stopped for that Drink, I would have been Further Down the Beach and He Would Probably have Drowned”

On 19 September 2015, ultramarathon runner Dennis Potton, a 37-year-old father of four, rescued a small boy from drowning in a rip current at Sandsend Beach, Whitby, Yorkshire, UK. While stopping for a drink at a café next to the beach, he heard a young boy shouting, “He is drowning!” Mr. Potton said, “No one was really moving so I ran to the shore; a woman pointed to where he was and I dropped my bag and went in. He was crying his eyes out and really struggling. I picked him up and started walking back in but there was such a strong rip current it kept taking my legs from under me.” The boy was believed to be approximately 10 years old. Mr. Potton said, “I’m a dad myself, and I was just overcome with emotion of how different it could have been — if I hadn’t stopped for that drink, I would have been further down the beach and he would probably have drowned.” When he finished the race, he was given a hero’s welcome. He said, “News had spread because I had spoken to a man after I got out the sea and he told people at a checkpoint, so everyone knew by the time I arrived. When I finished I was repeatedly sick — the adrenaline had kept me going, but I really crashed. My wife and children are extremely proud; they are over the moon.”

Source: “Marathon hero rescues boy from the sea.” Whitby Gazette (UK). 21 September 2015

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