A GROUP of eight stranded at Ravenglass estuary were saved by a quick-thinking hero on Saturday.

James Entwistle spotted the four adults and four children, all from Smithills in Bolton, struggling on a sand bank in the middle of the River Esk estuary.

After realising their immediate danger, Ravenglass resident James quickly fitted an outboard motor to his three-man Bombard inflatable dinghy.

Making three trips for the group, James was able to get them all back safely ashore on the estuary bank in his one-man rescue mission.

And the humble hero said he was glad to assist.

He said: "They were just on foot and others had noticed that they were starting to struggle as the water was rising. Someone said that I should leave it to the coastguard but I was able to get my inflatable out and set up quickly, so I went out myself.

"There were eight people and I made three trips - I took the four children, then the two women and then the two men. As I was heading back I noticed the area was completely submerged so I am glad I got there when I did. They must have been facing a deeper part of the channel because the water could have very easily gone up and over them."

After seeing all the party safely ashore on the estuary bank, he returned to the village in his inflatable dinghy.

Although the weather was warm, the incoming Irish Sea tide was cold, another danger that could have caused serious injury or death to someone unlucky enough to be pulled in.

James later revealed that the group were extremely grateful for his actions.

He said: “They were super grateful and couldn’t thank me enough. They were just happy to be back on dry land without any problems and I was more than happy to have helped them.”