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James Cracknell saves man and grandson from drowning

Double Olympic gold medallist James Cracknell proved a hero once again when he helped rescue a family who were in danger of drowning at a North Devon beach. The former rower and his 11-year-old son Croyde were surfing when they spotted 67-year-old Jim Greatorex in difficulties with his grandson Emerson Fairclough.

Mr Greatorex had gone into the water fully clothed when he realised that Emerson was being swept away by the current.

james cracknell © Photo: Rex

James Cracknell and his son leapt into action at a North Devon beach near their holiday home

James' wife radio personality Beverley Turner tweeted about the drama, proudly dubbing her husband and son the 'Crackers A Team'.

She told the Daily Mirror: "Croyde just shouted to James, 'Dad, dad, there's a boy drowning' and the lad was going under and was in a bad way at that point.

"James swam over to the boy while Croyde went to the older man and told him to hold onto his board."

As the sportsman reached the youngster, he said: "I don't want to die". Mr Greatorex only realised later that his rescuer was well-known, exclaiming: "It's the rower!"

Beverley tweeted: "You never know how your kids will respond in a crisis... @croydecracknell was cool, quick thinking kind and brave."

Her husband won gold at the Olympics in 2000 and 2004 and was later awarded an OBE. James also tweeted about the incident, saying that he had "an eventful day at the beach", adding: "Thankfully everyone safe, Good to be able to help & so proud of my lad."

james cracknell 2

His wife Beverley documented the drama on Twitter

The Cracknell family are no strangers to drama after James was knocked down by a petrol tanker while cycling in the US and suffered a serious head injury. He had been taking part in a challenge to cycle, row, run and swimming from Los Angeles to New York within 18 days.

He documented his recovery process in the book Touching Distance. Eight months after the accident he ran the 2011 London marathon for the brain injury charity Headway, with a time of 3:03:56.

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