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Drowning grandad and grandson from Stratford rescued by James Cracknell and his son

Stratford Editorial 10th Aug, 2015 Updated: 28th Oct, 2016

OLYMPIC rower James Cracknell and his son saved a Stratford grandad and grandson from drowning on a family holiday.

Retired Jim Greatorex was on holiday in Croyde, North Devon with his wife, daughter and two grandchildren.

The family were watching the children paddle in the sea when seven-year-old Emerson Fairclough got caught in a riptide.

As his family watched from the shore, Jim waded into the sea fully clothed, where he started to get swept away himself. He quickly shouted to a nearby boy on a surfboard to get help.

And the youngster happened to be 11-year-old Croyde Cracknell, who called to his dad – double gold medallist James.

The rower dived into the water to rescue Emerson and after getting the youngster back on dry land, went to help Jim.

But son Croyde had already pulled the relieved grandad to safety on his surfboard and was taking him to shore.

The Olympic rower’s wife watched the drama unfold from the beach where she had been sitting at the time of the rescue.

Later in the day she posted on twitter: “You never know how your kids will respond in a crisis. Croyde was cool, quick, thinking, kind and brave.

“Everyone walked away shaken but fine. The nearly-drowned grandad said ‘that lad on the board saved my life, and bloody hell it’s the rower.”

A rescue helicopter and coastguards had been heading to the scene but were told to stand down after the duo were saved.

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