Scouts Medal For James Cracknell's Son For His Part In Beach Rescue

He helped his dad rescue two people who got into difficulties in the sea in Devon


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Twelve-year old Croyde Cracknell, son of Olympian James Cracknell and broadcaster Beverley Turner, has been awarded a rare 'Silver Cross' for gallantry by the Scouts, for his part in helping to save a man and his grandson who got into difficulties in the sea in Devon last year.

Croyde has been attending the 20th Chiswick Scouts for five years and following the dramatic rescue he told interviewers that "being a scout taught me to stay calm in a crisis". His proud family watched at a special ceremony in the Scout Hut as his Silver Cross was pinned on last night (February 4th).

The Silver Cross for Gallantry is a Scout Association Award for "gallantry in circumstances of considerable risk".

Croyde is pictured with Terry Kingham, County Commissioner for Greater London Middlesex West Scouts

The drama began when the Cracknell family were on holidays at a beach in Devon last June. Croyde, who was surfing on his board, heard a cry for help from 67-year-old Jim Greatorex who shouted to him that his 7-year-old grandson, Emerson Fairclough, was in trouble.

Croyde stood on his board and shouted to raise the alarm. "My dad was in the water next to me so he dived into the water David Hasselhoff-style and swam under the water, picked the boy up and dragged him to shore."

Croyde went over to Mr. Gatorex, who by this time was also getting into difficulties, and gave him his board. After depositing the grandson on the beach, James Cracknell swam back to rescue Mr Greatorex, who is from Stratford-on-Avon, and who had gone into the water fully clothed to help his grandson before getting into difficulties himself.

James Cracknell and Beverley Turner

According to Beverley Turner the rescued man said as he reached safety, 'that lad on that board saved my life. Bloody hell. It's the rower!'

The lifeguards were not on duty at the time. A helicopter was called to assist but was stood down when the crew was informed the incident was over. Everybody was reported to be fine after the drama, which made national headlines and Croyde told a BBC interviewer that he had felt proud of himself for his part in the rescue.

"It's not every day you rescue someone from drowning is it?" he said.

The last similar gallantry award given in Chiswick 20th was in 1951 and was a Cornwell Award for Bravery, which went to an adult.

February 5, 2016