He’s well known for putting celebrities through their paces in a bid to survive through extreme situations, but Bear Grylls has triggered an uproar by putting one of his own children in danger as part of a training exercise with the Royal National Lifeboat Institution.

Last Thursday (August 6th), the 41 year old survivalist left his eldest son, 12 year old Jesse, temporarily marooned on a set of rocks of the coast of Abersoch, North Wales known as the ‘Half Tide Rocks’ to play the part of a stranded boy in need of rescue. He posted a picture to his Twitter account after the exercise was safely completed, and though he has since deleted it, it caused quite a controversy.

Bear GryllsBear Grylls posted a picture of his son stranded on a rocky island during a lifeboat exercise

But the manager of the lifeboat station, Gareth Hughes-Jones, said to the Daily Mail that when he returned from a holiday at the weekend and found out the risks that Grylls and his team had taken during the exercise, he was furious. “The crew tell me they didn’t know Bear’s son was going to be on the rocks, as there is an element of risk,” he said.

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“I certainly wouldn’t put my young son there – also it could encourage people to do the same, which would be unfortunate. As I understand, it was supposed to be a low-key exercise. I believe no photographs were supposed to be taken. Thankfully, no one was hurt, but in his efforts to give the RNLI some publicity this is the wrong kind.”

Another spokesman for the RNLI made the following statement. “Bear Grylls had approached Abersoch RNLI during the week and asked if, on our normal Thursday training evening, we could do an exercise with him.”

The rocks are approximately 100 yards off the coast of the St. Tudwal’s Islands near the north coast of Wales, and the entire operation was completed in a matter of minutes, but it’s emerged that the lifeboat crew didn’t know beforehand that Grylls’ son would actually be involved.

The spokesman continued: “We did not appreciate that the exercise would involve him putting his son on ‘Half Tide Rocks’. In hindsight the child should not have been on the rocks, but everyone was acting with the best of intentions and getting valuable practise in rescuing a child.”

Bear Grylls has not commented on the uproar except for a brief statement thanking the crew. “I am so proud to be an ambassador for the RNLI and full of admiration for all their work.”

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