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Drama in real life! Former England footballer rescues kids from stricken yacht

James Beattie, who is currently the first-team coach at Championship club Leeds United, sprang into action as soon as he saw a woman shouting for help, fearing the yacht would sink in no time.

football Updated: Apr 25, 2017 22:08 IST
Sidharth Gulati
Sidharth Gulati
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
James Beattie
James Beattie (second from left), former England striker, rescued two children from a yacht, which was in danger of being crushed by a ferry.(DailyMail )

James Beattie, former Everton and Southampton striker, rescued two children and their mother from a stricken yacht, which was in danger of being crushed by a ferry.

Beattie, who is currently the first-team coach at Championship club Leeds United, sprang into action as soon as he saw the woman shouting for help, fearing that the yacht would sink in no time. He, alongwith three others, rushed for help without wasting a second and saved the stranded youngsters from drowning.

Ashely Jacobs, who witnessed this whole dramatic incident, praised the former footballer for his awareness.

Beattie, a father of three, replied:

In an interview to the Daily Echo, Ashely Jacobs described what actually transpired when he heard the uproar.

“We didn’t know what it was at first but then saw a small yacht getting dragged into the chain ferry,” he said. “We are just a small boat so we couldn’t offer a tow but we stayed on standby just in case one of the children went into the water. I saw a number of people on the chain ferry rushing to help, one of which was James Beattie.

“He got hold of the children when other people were just standing about watching, so credit to him for that.

“He did really well, he leant over the edge and got the children to safety. He did really well.”

Alan Dobson, another witness who was on the ferry, said:

“We were one of the the first cars onto the ferry, so we were right at the front,” he explained.

“Just as the ferry was about to pull away, a sail boat, without its sail up, came from the right and hit the front of the ferry.

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“Its lines were getting tangled on the front of the ferry, and it was getting pulled into it.

“I heard a woman shouting ‘get my children off’, then another guy jumped over the barrier, leant down on his stomach, reached down and grabbed one of the children.

“He passed the child to another man, who handed it on to a woman - then they got the other child off and the mother.

“The man, I presume he was the dad, stayed on the boat and they managed to un-snag it. By then ferry staff had come over, and eventually another boat came alongside, threw a line, and the yacht was pulled out of the way, enabling the ferry to go on its way.

“No emergency services were called.”

James Beattie, 38, has had spells at Southampton, Everton, Sheffield United, Stoke City and a short stay at Blackpool.

Beatie won his maiden England cap in a friendly game against Australia but didn’t get much to play after that.

In 2015, he was appointed as a first-team coach at Swansea City. In 2016, he joined Leeds United as first-team coach and is still associated with them.

First Published: Apr 25, 2017 19:56 IST