At the end of 2013, we were inundated with details of rescues that have been taking place. These were put forward for RLSS UK’s recognition and have deservedly been awarded.

Well done everyone!

Certificates of Meritorious Action for Lifeguards go to:

Dana Batts – whilst attending a house party in Kent pool lifeguard Dana found her friend, 17-year-old Benign in the heated outdoor swimming pool. After hearing splashing and shouts Dana came to the rescue of non-swimmer Benign who was in the deepest part of the pool. As there was nothing for Dana to throw to him and he was too far away to do a reach rescue Dana entered the water fully clothed. She towed Benign to the side of the pool where she got help to get him onto the poolside. Once on poolside Dana checked he was alright and found him some dry clothes.

Ryan Metten, John Blair and Steve Lawrence – pool lifeguards from New Beach Holiday Park in Kent, pulled a woman out of the pool. The lifeguards came to the aid of the casualty, she wasn’t breathing despite being removed from the pool. Ryan immediately cleared the pool and called for an ambulance whilst John and Steve carried out CPR. After 3 minutes the casualty started breathing and she was put into the recovery position, wrapped in a blanket and given reassurance.

An ambulance took the casualty to hospital where she made a full recovery. The casualty is thought to have suffered an epileptic seizure whilst in the pool.

Emily Jones – at Basildon Sporting Village in Brentwood, 73-year-old John Mitchell suffered a heart attack whilst swimming, although he was able to pull himself to the side of the pool.

The pool alarm was raised and the pool cleared. Two lifeguards pulled John up on to poolside and immediately took action giving him CPR as he wasn’t breathing. Emily and the Duty Manager performed CPR for 5-6 minutes; eventually, John started to breathe again.

When the paramedics arrived they took over and transferred John to the hospital. After visiting the hospital John made a full recovery.

Freya and Jonathan Chappell – whilst pool lifeguards Freya and Jonathan were on holiday in the South of France their father Ian came into difficulties. On a jet ski trip, the group ran into the wake of a ship departing the port and Ian got caught in the deepest part, which resulted in him falling from the jet ski. The jet ski instructor, Freya and Jonathan all went to Ian’s aid and found he had a head injury which had caused him to become unconscious in the water. Ian was pulled from the water and Jonathan began CPR (the instructor held Ian on the rear of the jet ski) whilst Freya went to shore to get help. Jonathan and the instructor attempted to take Ian to shore on the jet ski but it wasn’t stable enough so Jonathan hailed a passing boat. Travelling to shore on the boat Jonathan continued CPR. Without a first aid kit, Jonathan used towels to apply pressure to the head wound which was bleeding profusely.

On arrival at shore, Freya supported Jonathan with first aid to the head wound whilst maintaining the recovery position until the ambulance arrived.

Ben Taylor, Michelle Dalmeida, David Springthorpe, Grant Vinten and Natalie Davidson  pool lifeguards at Hertfordshire Sports Village came to the aid of 62-year-old John Rowland who suffered a heart attack whilst swimming. Ben raised the alarm, jumped in and brought John to the poolside with the help of Michelle. In less than a minute David, Grant and Natalie arrived on scene to assist. Ben commenced CPR whilst Michelle collected the AED. Natalie and Grant assisted in clearing the pool and updated reception with the status of the casualty. David placed the AED on the casualty and gave one shock when instructed by the AED. After the shock, John came round and was reassured until the first response car and air ambulance teams arrived.

Michael Marshall  off-duty swimming teacher Mark Percival suffered a heart attack whilst swimming at Fox Hollies Leisure Centre, Birmingham.

The pool was cleared, an ambulance called and the alarm raised. Pool lifeguard Michael reviewed his condition and gave Mark CPR and also used the AED. Mark was shocked twice with the centre's machine and a third time from the paramedics AED.

On this occasion, the staff at Fox Hollies Leisure Centre were given a Certificate of Recognition for their support in this rescue.

Young Persons Certificates of Commendation go to:

Bethany Maizer – aged 13-years-old she rescued her father Simon when the canoe they were in capsized.  Simon, a non swimmer, despite wearing a life jacket was struggling to keep above the water. Bethany spotted a small island near to them and Simon asked her to tow him. Both Bethany and Simon had the confidence to do this as she has been taking lifesaving lessons for 2 years. Simon was towed safely to the island with Bethany talking to calm him as they went. After checking he was alright Bethany went to collect the canoe and they both paddled back to shore.

Celyn Jones – aged 14-years-old she came to the rescue of a 7-year-old boy who had gotten in to difficulty. Two 7-year-olds had been playing by the edge of a river in a beer garden when the boy slipped as he was climbing a shallow waterfall. The boy hung on to the waterfall as Celyn performed a reach rescue and got the boy to safety. Celyn used her Rookie Lifeguard skills which prevented the from boy slipping further and going into the deeper water of the river.

Certificates of Recognition & Commendation go to:

Sgt Heather Sutton – Sgt Heather Sutton rescued a woman after who was struggling in the river near County Hall, whilst on duty, at River Trent in Nottingham.

With her experience of open water swimming, Sgt Sutton secured a lifeline around her waist whilst a colleague took hold of the other end. Upon reaching the casualty she made her way back to shore with the assistance of colleagues. The casualty was placed in the recovery position until the ambulance arrived.

PC Katie Eustace, PC Matt Mitchell – PC Mitchell and PC Eustace assisted an elderly woman after a call was received about a body floating in the water. It transpired that a 72 year old woman had fallen into the river.

A life ring was thrown out to her but there was no response. PC Mitchell waded into the water to recover the woman and swam her back to the bank.

Katie Eustace then waded in to help bring the casualty to shore. The casualty was conscious and breathing and taken to hospital.

At a recognition awards ceremony held on 29 January PC Katie Eustace, Sgt Heather Sutton and PC Matt Mitchell were awarded with Royal Life Saving Society UK (RLSS UK) certificates to recognise their bravery.

The certificates were presented to them by Nottinghamshire Branch Secretary Terry Draycott, RLSS UK President Peter Moyes and Chief Constable Chris Eyres. Congratulations to Katie, Heather and Matt, as their quick and efficient actions were fundamental in saving these lives.