Pinjarra six-year-old receives St John Ambulance commendation for rescuing drowning brother

Finnley Regler (6) with his brother Israel, who he rescued from drowning. Picture: Jon Hewson.
Finnley Regler (6) with his brother Israel, who he rescued from drowning. Picture: Jon Hewson.

PINJARRA resident Ange Regler remembers the day her son Israel almost drowned like it was yesterday.

In April last year, now four-year-old Israel and his six-year-old brother Finnley were swimming in their grandparents’ pool before the unimaginable occurred.

Ms Regler looked away for a brief moment to fetch the boys some towels when Finnley alerted her Israel was drowning.

“Israel was on the edge of the steps of the pool before he reached out to get a ping-pong ball floating on top of the water and ended up falling in,” she said.

Finnley and Israel Regler. Picture: Jon Hewson.

“Israel is comfortable with swimming in the water, but couldn’t recover from falling vertically at the time – he would usually wear a shark fin swimming device on his back when in the water but he refused to put it on that day.

“Finnley saved him from drowning”.

Finnley received a St John Ambulance 2017 Community Hero commendation for his heroic actions that day.

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Ms Regler said Finnley jumped into the water when he saw what was happening, kangaroo hoped to the bottom and managed to push his brother’s head above by treading water.

Finnley had completed two weeks of VacSwim lessons at school prior to the incident, where he was taught how to tread water and various other water safety tips.

“He utilised what he had learnt through the program,” said Ms Regler.

Finnley Regler (6) with his brother Israel. Picture: Jon Hewson.

After pulling Israel out of the water, Ms Regler put Israel onto his side, drained the water from his mouth and he soon regained consciousness.

“I rang the WA Health Direct Line as soon as we pulled him out of the water, they assessed the situation over the phone, they called St John Ambulance and had them sent to our address.

“My main concern at the time was secondary drowning, which is when the kid takes on water into their lungs after submerging in the water and it can occur within 48 hours of the incident, but he’s made a full recovery,” she said.

Since the incident, Israel has returned to swimming lessons and still loves the water.

“My advice to parents is to keep vigilant around the water, have your kids in swimming lessons and know about first aid,” she said