Tipton man receives top bravery award
A Tipton lifesaver has been awarded a top national honour for his part in saving the lives of two boys who got into trouble surfing.
Kyle Hipkiss, 27, is to receive a Royal Humane Society Testimonials on Parchment for putting his own life on the line in the life and death battle to save the boys.
Another man, Iain Bartley, 38, from Tunbridge Wells, has been awarded a bronze medal by the society following the drama at Treyarnon Bay on the afternoon of April 16.
A rip tide and the wind had pushed the boys over towards a rocky cliff face off the Cornish coast.
There were no life guards on duty that day and Iain and Kyle, who were on the beach with their families, saw what had happened, went into the treacherous seas and swam against the tide to reach the boys.
Kyle managed to get one boy back to the shore but Iain’s ordeal was far from over.
He had to swim on to reach the other boy who was farther out and by the time he reached him he was exhausted himself and fearing for his own life – and that of the boy.
He managed to get him to a tiny ledge on the cliff face just above the sea.
Back on the beach, lifeguards were called and took an inflatable dinghy out to the cliff.
One swam to the cliff face with a float line but the boy was too scared to let go despite the rising tide.
A helicopter had been called to the scene and arrived in the nick of time to lift the boy and Iain off to safety.
In addition to the awards they are to receive, Iain and Kyle have both won the personal praise of Andrew Chapman, Secretary of the Royal Humane Society.