Local heroes have received a national award after helping to save the life of a man found floating in the River Thames.

Windsor Leisure Centre staff have been awarded the Certificate of Meritorious Action for Lifeguards from the Royal Life Saving Society UK (RLSS UK), the UK’s drowning prevention charity.

It was a normal day at the centre when duty manager, Michael Clarke received a message on the radio about an incident taking place outside.

“I didn’t know what had happened, but knew it could be serious so I grabbed our defibrillator from reception and ran outside where I heard shouting coming from the riverside,” says the 31-year-old from Windsor.

“By the time Michael had arrived, the casualty had been pulled from the water by the leisure centre’s trainee lifeguard Kyle Hickey. Moving the casualty away from the water’s edge, Michael established that he was not breathing. A RLSS UK qualified lifeguard, first aider and also trained in the use of defibrillators, Michael immediately began administering CPR. After the casualty failed to respond to compressions and rescue breaths, Michael and his team administered electric shocks to the heart with the defibrillator.

“They continued with CPR until the fire crew arrived to take over. By the time the paramedics arrived at the scene, the casualty was breathing and stable enough to be taken to hospital, where he went on to make a full recovery.

“It’s a great feeling to know that the actions of me and my team helped to save this man’s life. My team acted with complete professionalism putting all their lifesaving training and knowledge to the test and making it count on the day. I’m very proud of them,” says Michael.

“We are delighted to award Michael with the Certificate of Meritorious Action for Lifeguard. His actions helped to save a person’s life and is a reminder that lifesaving skills can be required any time anywhere,” says Di Steer, Chief Executive at RLSS UK.

The members of staff to be honoured with the RLSS UK award are:

  • Michael Clarke – Duty Manager
  • Rob Bateman – Trainee Duty Manager
  • Joanne Bastable – Recreation Assistant


For more information on RLSS UK

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Call – 0300 323 0096