Most mums have experienced that heart-stopping moment when you turn around to where your child was standing – and suddenly realise they have wandered off. And one parent's story of how she found herself experiencing every mother's worst nightmare – and how her son was eventually found safe – has gone viral. Vicky Hamilton-Ross, who runs the blog Oliver's Outings, shared a post about how her sister, Lucinda, lost her four-year-old son, Jake, during a family outing at a beach event in Bournemouth. She explained that as they stopped to look at a stall Lucinda dropped his hand to pick something up and, when she turned around, he was no longer there.
Jake (centre right) with mum Lucinda (far right)
"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," the post explained. "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."
Within 15 minutes they found Jake further down the beach. And the story he told them will make most parents' blood run cold. "Jake said: 'There was a bald man in a white T shirt, he said he would take me to see a real rocket ship'". Lucinda explained that Jake wasn’t inclined to lie and that the story sounded genuine.
The mum-of-two explained that she thinks the cadet's swift actions, and his repeated shouting of Jake's description, meant the man couldn't leave the beach without being spotted, and so decided to leave Jake behind. "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," the post continues.
"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."
The post quickly went viral, with many parents sharing the advice. Lucinda, who runs the blog 100bucketlistadventures.com, told HELLO! she was surprised by how quickly it spread, but that she was happy it may help others. "I'm really pleased because it could help save another child's life. I'm certain that the way the cadets looked for him shouting out his description, played a big part in why we found him safely," she explained.