Beechboro-based lifeguards recognised for bravery in saving 5-year-old girl’s life


Anthony Dos Santos of Noranda, Matthew Merritt of Carine and Sarah Fuller of Chidlow. Picture: Andrew Ritchie www.communitypix.com.au d475171
Anthony Dos Santos of Noranda, Matthew Merritt of Carine and Sarah Fuller of Chidlow. Picture: Andrew Ritchie www.communitypix.com.au d475171

THREE Beechboro-based lifeguards have urged parents to be “vigilant” towards all children at swimming pools after they were awarded for their heroics in saving a five-year-old girl from drowning.

Noranda resident Anthony Dos Santos, Matthew Merritt of Carine and Sarah Fuller of Chidlow received gold stars at the 2017 Royal Life Saving Bravery Awards for performing CPR on the girl during an event at Altone Park Leisure Centre.

On October 28 last year, Mr Dos Santos noticed the girl lying face up in the 25m pool.

He and fellow lifeguard Ms Fuller took her out of the pool but she was unresponsive and not breathing so Ms Fuller conducted CPR.

Other team members cleared the pool while Mr Merritt arrived with oxygen and a defibrillator.

After a short period, the child regurgitated a large amount of water and commenced breathing on her own however, she was still suffering from shock.

Paramedics transported the child by ambulance to Princess Margaret Hospital under priority conditions.

She made a full recovery and now took part in the centre’s swimming program to become a confident swimmer.

Mr Dos Santos said siblings needed to keep an eye out for each other and try to swim together rather than alone.

Mr Merritt said lifeguards aimed to prevent these incidents from happening.

“I think the amount of training that we do obviously prepares you to some extent and we hope the training that we do kicks in and goes from there because it obviously did because it had very good outcomes,” he said.

“I think the take-home message for all parents going to aquatic centres, is that lifeguards are there to baby-sit and are there to react when parental supervision has failed and we take over from there.”

Meanwhile, Bassendean resident Owen Pomfrett (11) won a bravery commendation for saving a three-year-old at Sandy Beach Reserve.

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