A SEVEN-year-old boy who almost drowned off Chesil Beach is pleading for the Portland Coastguard helicopter to be saved.
Jake Nesbitt, who has now made a full recovery, wants the service to remain after it played a vital role in his rescue.
The youngster stopped breathing and had no pulse after he slipped through his rubber ring despite careful supervision from his family who were just feet away.
Jake, from Winchester, said: “They need to keep the helicopter here.
“When I go back to school, we are going to do some fundraising for it.
“It helped save my life.”
Jake was with a group of friends and family enjoying a barbecue when the accident happened on July 27.
Whilst his nine-year-old brother Harvey and some of the other children Jake was playing with collected food, he remained in the sea.
But suddenly he had disappeared under the waves.
His mum, Tracy Nesbitt, said: “There were about 13 of us having a barbecue and we were sitting in a semi-circle, facing the beach.
“We were watching Jake carefully.
“He wanted a hot dog but the sausages weren’t ready, so he stayed in the sea – but he wasn’t very far in.
“Suddenly, my partner’s sister said ‘where’s Jake?’ ”
Miss Nesbitt’s partner, John Dobson, ran in to the water and pulled the unconscious Jake to safety.
He was given CPR by family friend Paul Buckingham and a nearby nurse, as hundreds of beachgoers ran to the scene.
Miss Nesbitt said: “It was the worst moment of my life.
“It was so surreal and shocking- I just had my head in my friend’s chest – my whole body was shaking.
“But without the coastguard helicopter’s quick arrival, it could have taken up to 30 minutes longer to transfer Jake to hospital.”
Jake was flown to Dorset County Hospital where he was sedated and quickly transferred to Southampton General Hospital by road, where he
remained in intensive care. He was woken after being moved to Winchester and by the following Saturday, was running around once more.
Miss Nesbitt, who plans to relocate to Portland where Mr Dobson lives, said: “If it wasn’t for the helicopter this would be a completely different story.
“We need to keep it- this could happen to someone else’s little boy and I wouldn’t want that.
“We could now be in a completely different situation.
“A lot of campaigning needs to be done. I’m so grateful to the coastguard staff.
“We need to make sure the service is there for anybody else who needs it.”
Rescuer Paul Buckingham said: “If it hadn’t been for all of the emergency services working together, this would be a very different story.
“The helicopter did an amazing job- it saved a vital amount of time in getting Jake to hospital.”
Jake, who visited the beach again for the first time this week and threw pebbles in to the water, added: “I feel really good now. I can climb and do the things I like again.”