In the summer of 1979 Ronnie Gerrard was working as a lifeguard at a pool In Llangefni, Anglesey when the pool was busy with swimmers. Ronnie had passed his bronze medallion the day before when he was asked to take charge of the main pool. 

As it was a sunny day, the light was bouncing off the water making Ronnie’s job of keeping everyone safe even more difficult. He noticed some younger children in the deep end and told them to return to the shallow end of the pool and kept an eye on them afterwards. He then noticed the young girl was not with her friends so began scouring the pool which was difficult amongst lots of swimmers.

Ronnie then spotted her at the bottom of the pool.

An onlooker and fellow lifesaver, David Price, saw Ronnie suddenly dive into the pool and pull a young girl to the surface. Ronnie managed to get the girl to the edge of the pool and out onto the poolside when he realised she had stopped breathing. Ronnie quickly put her into the recovery position.

Everyone was asked to leave the pool and other lifeguards stepped in to assist. Ronnie wasted no time and began CPR on the young girl and after a couple of minutes, she thankfully began breathing once more. Her face regained colour and everyone breathed a sigh of relief and applauded Ronnie’s actions. The ambulance crew arrived shortly after and took her to hospital, where she stayed for a week to recover.

Thanks to Ronnie’s actions, the young girl made a full recovery. He was thanked by the young girls mother and David congratulated Ronnie at the time and praised him for his bravery.

Fast forward 44 years and David got back in touch with Ronnie as he witnessed a similar event take place and it reminded him of the heroic actions of Ronnie that day. This led for Ronnie to get in touch with the Royal Life Saving Society UK (RLSS UK) to tell his story and make contact with the person whose life he saved.

Lesley Roberts (nee Moss) was eleven years old at the time of the rescue and now works for the local council; coincidentally Ronnie’s nephew is her manager there.

Ronnie recently met with Lesley after not seeing her since the day he pulled her from the pool, and she remembers the day very well and is extremely grateful to Ronnie for saving her life 44 years ago.

RLSS UK awarded Ronnie with a Certificate of Commendation for his actions all those years ago and he will be adding this to his collection of awards, including his Bronze Medallion.

Lifesaving is clearly in Ronnie’s DNA as he also recently assisted an elderly lady when she was stuck in some nearby woods due to a problem with her pacemaker, and had been lying on the damp floor for two hours with hypothermia setting in. She had been told that an ambulance could take five hours, so Ronnie helped the lady, and, as she lived 80 miles away, took her to his home to keep her warm. He received a thank you from the lady’s daughter-in-law who expressed her gratitude and explained she had been to hospital and was now home.

Lesley, who recently met with Ronnie, could not thank Ronnie enough for saving her life. She said, “I can never thank Ronnie enough, everything I have done and all that I have now only exists due to his actions that day and I am so happy that he has finally received the recognition he deserves.”

After the incident Lesley’s mum ensured she got back in the water quickly to ensure she didn’t develop a fear. Lesley has since had two children who she was determined learnt to swim as soon as possible. Her son later became a trained lifeguard himself.

After their recent reunion and chatting for over two hours, Ronnie and Lesley hope to meet up again soon.

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