Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

SAVED... BY A Pounds 1 BAG; Cheap Web Purchase Led to Rescue: Rescue? It's in the Bag!: Man Owes Life to Pounds 1 Cover for His Phone

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

SAVED... BY A Pounds 1 BAG; Cheap Web Purchase Led to Rescue: Rescue? It's in the Bag!: Man Owes Life to Pounds 1 Cover for His Phone

Article excerpt

Byline: SOPHIE BARLEY

A MAN lucky to be alive after his canoe capsized while he was fishing owes his life to a pounds 1 plastic bag which allowed him to make a desperate phone call to his wife.

Mike Potts, 47, was fishing off Steetley Pier, near Hartlepool, when his boat capsized leaving him stranded in the water.

Luckily Mike, who works as a sales manager for Middlesbrough steel products firm Varley and Gulliver, in Marsh Road, managed to call wife Lesley, using his mobile phone which was in his pocket. The phone has a plastic bag protective cover on it - which Mike bought for pounds 1 from a canoeing website. Without the waterproof cover Mike, from Hartlepool, said he would probably have drowned. He said: "It is not worth thinking about what would have happened if I didn't have my phone. So that plastic cover has saved my life. "I saw it on a website and thought 'that's handy' so I ordered it." Father-of-two Mike, who has three grandchildren, was out in his canoe on Saturday afternoon.

He said: "I was about a mile off the coast and my fishing bag got caught in some wire on the boat. I was tugging it and as it released I lost my balance and fell back causing the boat to capsize." Mike managed to pull the canoe back upright but was unable to get back in to it. He said: "I was really panicking. I waswearing waders which made it really hard to keep above the water. I was luckily able to get my phone and rang my wife. She said I sounded really panicky, which then of course made her panic. It was a scary situation." As reported yesterday, Lesley called the Humber Coastguard who sent the Hartlepool all-weather in shore lifeboats to the scene as well as tasking the rescue helicopter from RAF Boulmer. Within minutes the inshore lifeboat found Mike and took him back to shore. Mike said: "In all I was in the water for about half an hour, which felt more than three days. …

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