Do you know what to do if you look round and your child is gone?
So, even talking about a child going missing gives me the shivers!
I would love to just bury my head and pretend it doesn’t happen but a few years ago that missing child was nearly my nephew!
I would say “luckily” they got him back but actually it wasn’t luck at all but the very quick actions of the army cadet guys stewarding at the event. Every parent should know what they did, so they can do the same if needed.
Here’s what happened...
Jake was just 4yrs old at the time and like every other child, he knew not to ever talk to strangers or leave his parents when out, so what went wrong?
The whole family were at a beach event in Bournemouth. It was very busy so Lucinda (his mum) was holding his hand, Jake is a shy boy so had no interest in leaving her side anyway.
They stopped to look at a stall and she let go of his hand to pick something up, it was just a couple of minutes, if that.
When she looked round to take his hand he wasn’t there!
While trying to stay calm and telling herself he wouldn’t go far she started to look around and call his name, still couldn’t see him.
Within a matter of minutes an army cadet who was stewarding the event spotted Lucinda and immediately asked what had happened and who she was looking for.
He wasted no time and himself and the other guys stewarding started shouting “we are looking for a boy” “He is 4yrs old, blonde and in a red T shirt. Have you seen him?” They repeated this loudly and constantly as they covered the areas nearby.
Now this may seem an obvious and simple thing but the quick timing and detail they shouted was undoubtedly what saved him!
Within about 15 minutes they found him a little further down the beach…. He’s just a little boy who wandered off you are thinking? Unfortunately not.
The detail Jake gave would make any parents blood run cold… “There was a bald man in a white T shirt, he said he would take me to see a real rocket ship” He wasn’t inclined to lie as a child and this seemed very genuine.
It’s awful to think men like this are around and near our children but they are and sadly some get away with it.
By very quickly shouting out the description of Jake and that he was lost, it meant the guy couldn’t leave the beach without being spotted, so he just left Jake and walked away.
I would urge every parent to do this immediately, even if you suspect they are just round the corner, what’s the worst that could happen, you are slightly embarrassed because they hadn’t gone anywhere? Well worth that risk.
The police think this was an unplanned abduction, He had to walk a fair way on the beach before he could get to the road, so it was risky.
So he basically just saw Jake and took his chance, how quickly it happened is scary.
I truly hope none of you are ever in this situation but if you are then just shout, loud and clear, who you are looking for and what they look like.
Don’t be afraid to ask people to help you in other directions too.
Please share this so it can help others in the same way it did Jake, it could have been a very different ending without such quick actions.
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Despite this scary experience, the family haven't let it hold them back. They are currently travelling around Europe with the boys. Here's their blog if you would like to follow their adventure. www.100bucketlistadventures.com