The prestigious Certificate of Commendation recognises the vital role the team played in preventing the death of Richard Bowers, a retiree from Bexley.

A regular user of the swimming pool, Richard had just finished his swim when he became disorientated. Lifeguard, Shauna Wye was alerted and immediately sounded the alarm. Within 15 seconds a team of lifeguards and staff were at the main pool where Richard was being supported in the water by three fellow swimmers.

Less than a minute after being lifted out of the pool and placed in the recovery position, Richard had stopped breathing. The team immediately administered CPR. After two rounds of CPR and two shocks from a defibrillator, Roger started to breathe again although he remained unconscious.

He was still unconscious when the paramedics arrived 11 minutes later. Richard was taken to hospital where he underwent surgery to have stents fitted to his heart.

“Our staff undergo monthly RLSS UK training to keep their lifesaving skills up-to-date. The paramedics were full of praise for how the team performed on the day; their actions undoubtedly saved Richard’s life. As their manager, I am immensely proud and we are all delighted to hear that Richard is recovering well,” said Lee Clark, Manager of Sidcup Leisure Centre.

RLSS UK Chief Executive, Di Steer, said: “We were pleased to hear about the staff at Sidcup Leisure Centre using the skills they have learnt through the RLSS UK National Pool Lifeguard Qualification (NPLQ) to save a swimmers life.

“Our NPLQ not only gives lifeguards the skills and abilities to keep people safe in and around a pool, it gives them life skills that they can use to save lives outside of a pool environment.”

There are more than 90,000 RLSS UK Pool Lifeguards in the UK trained in the NPLQ. RLSS UK’s NPLQ is the most awarded lifeguard qualification in the United Kingdom and Ireland with around 95 per cent of all pool lifeguards trained by RLSS UK.

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

  • Marina Snelling – Aquazone Co-ordinator
  • Leanne Wye – Duty Manager
  • Luke Cheeseman – Recreation Assistant
  • Shauna Wye – Recreation Assistant
  • Freddie I’Anson – Recreation Assistant
  • Ashley Care – Fitness Leader
  • Lee Clark – Centre Manager


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