A Cheshire Firefighter says he thought he and his son were going to die during a kayaking accident.
Paul Rowlands, 50, and son Joe, 13, got in to trouble in Ynys Dulas off Lligwy beach in Anglesey, North Wales.
Their sit-on kayak started taking on water and they capsized around a mile from shore.
They tried sitting Joe on top of the upside-down kayak and dragging it back but after what seemed like half an hour it was clear they had not moved.
Paul said said: “It’s at this point that I realised our only chance of survival was to leave the craft and swim to a rock that was sticking out of the sea and approximately half way between us and the shoreline, which was some half a mile away.
“I was just thinking about keeping Joe safe at that moment in time and knew we needed to rescue ourselves and quickly. Although the sea was calm that day, it was extremely cold.
“Joe said he thought we were going to die and his final wish was a kiss from me. Although I reassured him that we were going to be fine, the thought also crossed my mind and I literally feared for both our lives.”
The pair kissed and Paul told his son he loved him very much and they set off swimming.
Due to hypothermia and exhaustion from trying to kick the kayak to shore, Paul is aware he passed out several times along the way and at one point he saw his son on the rock in front at around 60-100m away. His last memory is thinking that Joe was safe.
With Paul dropping in and out of consciousness the 13-year-old jumped back into the sea and swam to his dad and he dragged him to the rock where he managed to get him out of the water.
He then began chest compressions on his unconscious dad and has told that water gushed out of his dad’s mouth.
He then did mouth to mouth, followed by more compressions with more water coming out. On the next set of mouth to mouth Paul came round.
Help arrived via mum and wife Julie Ann Rowlands who reported the pair missing to the coastguard. She arrived at the shoreline to see the pair being winched into a helicopter.
You can watch the rescue here (credit RNLI):