“It was like Taking a Beach Lifeguard Award Exam!”


Source of Photo: http://tinyurl.com/n3gjapw

On 15 June 2013, Iona Steen, a 28-year-old vacationer from Brighton, Sussex, England, nearly drowned in the sea off St. Agnes, Cornwall, England. Off-duty Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service fire fighter and long-time member of St. Agnes Surf Lifesaving Club Howard Davey, age 44, heard her calls for help and swam to her and told her that he was going to help her. Ms. Steen, who had been surfing for two hours and who then took a break before getting back into the water, said, “With hindsight I was very tired and I just kept being pushed under the water and I got very distressed.” Mr. Davey said, “She was really flailing about. It was like taking a Beach Lifeguard Award exam! She jumped on top of me, and I had to reassure her and encourage her to kick her legs. I protected her as several waves broke over the top of us and then Royal National Lifeboat Institution lifeguard Dan Stirling joined us on a rescue board. It was then Iona became very limp and Dan carried her out from the water. For me it was a classic case of being in the right place at the right time.” Ms. Steen said about Mr. Davey, “He took over when he reached me. I was pretty dazed, but he was really great and I felt very safe. In fact, everyone was brilliant and I was very impressed with the whole team from Howard to Dan and all the others who helped me, including the paramedics and hospital staff.” Dickon Berriman, RNLI Lifeguard Manager, said, “It’s really important that people keep an eye on each other in the water because you never know when someone is going to start struggling. Howard was able to help Iona immediately and look after her until RNLI lifeguard Dan Stirling arrived on the scene. Clearly team work ensured she was assisted safely to shore.” Cornwall Council cabinet member for homes and communities Geoff Brown said, “This is an excellent example of someone using their skills and training to save a life and Howard’s prompt and decisive actions are to be commended. Working with the duty RNLI lifeguard, they responded to the emergency with great professionalism and we are all delighted that Iona has made a full recovery. This incident also serves as a timely reminder of the power of the sea and the need to take care in the water at all times.”

For Further Information: “Off-duty Camborne firefighter helps rescue exhausted swimmer from surf: PICTURES.” Thisisthewestcountry.co.uk. 17 June 2013


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