News: RNLI shocked to get £7 bill for lilo from parents of girl they saved in £7,000 rescue mission

News: RNLI shocked to get £7 bill for lilo from parents of girl they saved in £7,000 rescue mission

Another Lincolnshire Highlights news story…

Rescuers who heroically saved a child from drowning when she drifted out to sea on an inflatable toy – were flabbergasted to be sent a £7 invoice for the lilo.

A search and rescue helicopter had to be scrambled to save the girl when she ended up out of her depth.

Bristol Live reported that a crew member jumped into the water to save the young girl, and deliberately punctured the lilo to stop it from drifting further out to sea.

This sparked an angry demand from her parents for reimbursement.


The rescue mission, in Porthleven, Cornwall, cost around £7,000 and has left crews stunned after they’ve now received a bill for £7 from the parents of the girl they had saved.

The lilo was left in the water when the girls was rescued
(Image: Getty Images)

Mike Carter, president of the RNLI branch in Cornwall, 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.

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“The coastguard scrambled the search and rescue helicopter which was soon on scene.”

And after receiving the invoice, Mike said the rescue team would happily pay – but only if the family paid for the cost of launching the helicopter.

RNLI Skegness were called into action
The RNLI were sent an invoice for the lilo
(Image: RNLI Skegness)

He said: “Two weeks later the commanding officer received a request to pay an invoice for £7 the cost of the lilo.

“The officer replied: ‘I will be happy to pay your invoice on receipt of payment for the helicopter rescue £7,000.’ No response was received.”


Mike said inflatables in the sea are a common threat, and only last week the Maritime and Coastguard Agency gave a similar warning.

He added: “They may pose well for social media 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.”

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