15-year-old surfer rescues French couple at sea

A 15-year-old member of a local surfers' club in De Panne became the hero of the day when he rescued a French couple by himself. He ventured out into the North Sea in a kayak to go and find that "little spot" in the sea, a French couple in a small rubber boat that had gone completely adrift, in order to tow them back to safe grounds.

The couple from the French city of Tourcoing had gone harpoon fishing, but drifted away from the beach due to the current and the wind coming from the mainland. They had no oars and were stuck in their boat for hours.

When a local De Panne surf club noticed a "small spot" at the horizon, 15-year-old Charles-Louis Blondeel got into his kayak and came to the rescue himself. He was followed by other surfers, but only Charles-Louis managed to attach the rubber boat to his kayak.

Other rescue services  - including a NH-90 helicopter, the police, fire services and a rescue boat - also started an operation, but returned half way as the surfers' attempt proved successful. The French couple was very grateful to the boy, and escaped a heavy fine, as they did not have to cover the costs made for the rescue operation.