Susan McDonald, a Duty Manager at Greenwich Leisure Ltd. (GLL) East Manchester Leisure Centre, used her life saving skills, learnt, and practiced as a qualified lifeguard, in river rescue, saving a three-year-old from drowning.

The little girl had lost her footing and fallen into the River Lune in Lancashire at the Crook O' Lune, - a popular beauty spot - while out with her family on a day trip.

Susan, who just happened to be nearby, jumped straight into the river, swimming against the current to perform a textbook rescue and save the child from drowning.

Susan said: “Like the other visitors that day, we had gone to the river to make the most of the good weather and I was sunbathing when I heard someone saying there was a baby in the river.

“I could just see a bundle in the water, so I swam to her. She was face down and unconscious, so I turned her over and performed five rescue breaths in the water before bringing her back to the riverbank. There, I and another member of my family group, a doctor, performed two cycles of CPR while my sister called an ambulance.

“Thankfully, she came to before the ambulance arrived. The emergency services said only one in ten would survive an incident like that due to the temperature of the water and the amount of time she had been in there. She was also approaching a dangerous bend in the river with rocks and currents.”

The little girl was taken to hospital for medical checks and returned home three days later making a full recovery.

Susan added: “Undoubtedly, my RLSS UK training saved the day. We are all trained to the National Pool Lifeguard Qualification (NPLQ) level, so are fully prepared for rescues – but in the workplace, in a pool with colleagues around to support. The difference in my situation was I performed the rescue on my own, and in a river. With the CPR, I acted on instinct really, on autopilot. For our training we practice once a month on a manikin so performing the compressions and rescue breaths came as second nature.”

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