Abbiee Scott-Cook tells us how she went from almost drowning as a young child to becoming a qualified lifeguard.

When Abbiee was just three years old, she was on holiday with her family in Fuerteventura when she almost drowned but was rescued by her older brother. Upon return from their holiday, Abbiee’s mum signed her up for swimming lessons. Abbiee progressed well and eventually began swimming competitively with Bridlington Swimming Club.

Abbiee completed her Rookie Lifeguard qualification at ten years old. When she turned 16, she began her swim teacher qualifications before taking her National Pool Lifeguard Qualification (NPLQ) just a year later. Abbiee then completed her National Vocational Beach Lifeguard Qualification (NVBLQ) and worked as a beach lifeguard for a few summers in Bridlington.

Abbiee continued working her way through her swimming teacher and management qualifications and completed her RLSS UK Trainer Assessor (TA) qualification in 2021.

Abbiee said, “I’ve always loved the water; all my family are swimmers. Even when I was young, you would always find me in the pool. I always loved the thought of being able to save people, it gave me my own little superpower.

“I have many stories about my experience in both beach and pool lifeguarding. One rescue story which stands out was from when I was working as a pool lifeguard on a late shift, I’d only been lifeguarding for around two weeks at the time. It was 8.30 pm, and the pool was fairly busy with around 35 customers for an adult-only session. One person started to suffer an epileptic seizure at the far side of the pool. I quickly sprang into action, blowing my three whistles, sounding the alarm and diving into the pool to where the lady was fitting. I turned her over, keeping her stable enough to keep her head out of the water. After a minute or two, she stopped fitting, and my colleagues and I were able to get her out onto the poolside safely. The lady’s brother was very grateful that I had acted professionally and was there to save his sister’s life.

"The gentleman explained his sister suffers from regular fits and had a stressful day at work, and she thought swimming would relieve the pressure, so she could relax. We were lucky that the customers had used a pool which is lifeguarded; otherwise, the outcome might not have been as positive.”

Abbiee’s passion for lifesaving is clear as she now works as a TA as well as a Duty Manager for East Riding Leisure.

“I really enjoy being part of a great team of hardworking members of staff, I love the thought of protecting others and preventing situations from occurring. If a situation did occur, it’s great to know that I could carry out a recovery.

“I really enjoy being able to pass on my knowledge and experience to others, helping to train them to maybe one day save someone's life.”

Abbiee and her team recently supported RLSS UK’s Drowning Prevention Week at the leisure centre, Abbiee said, “We put loads of posters up around the site and got our children in our mainstream lessons learning the importance of water safety by using games to enable it to be a fun way of learning.

“In our schools, we promoted the importance of water safety, handing out leaflets with important information regarding drowning prevention.”

Become a Rookie Lifeguard

Become a Lifeguard

Become a Trainer Assessor