Life­guards awarded for sav­ing a life

Fremantle Gazette - - FRONT PAGE - Leah Roberts

FOR the life­guards at Fre­man­tle Leisure Cen­tre it was an or­di­nary day at work but for Ian Mitchel, a swim at the pool nearly cost him his life.

The 72-year-old was swim­ming his usual laps in the pool when he had a seizure.

The next thing he re­mem­bered was wak­ing up in an am­bu­lance on the way to Fiona Stan­ley Hos­pi­tal.

Three life­guards in­volved in his res­cue were awarded a Royal Life Sav­ing Brav­ery Award last Wed­nes­day.

One of the life­guards in­volved in the res­cue, Pia Rodgers, said she was pa­trolling the pool when she saw Mr Mitchel hold­ing on to the lane rope and slowly start­ing to sub­merge.

“With the aid of by­standers we pulled him out onto the con­course,” she said.

“When a sec­ond life­guard came we put oxy­gen and de­fib on him.

“Af­ter the first round of com­pres­sions he started breath­ing again but he was not in a good way.

“He stopped breath­ing again, so we did an­other round of com­pres­sion and he started breath­ing again, look­ing much bet­ter.”

The Fre­man­tle lo­cal said it was a priv­i­lege to re­ceive the award.

“We were just do­ing our job. We have a re­ally great team en­vi­ron­ment and we are re­ally sup­port­ive of each other; it made a mas­sive dif­fer­ence in the res­cue,” she said.

A sec­ond life­guard who as­sisted in the res­cue, Molly Hig­gins, said the res­cue had changed her per­spec­tive on things.

“To be able to see Ian alive and well is some­thing I will never for­get,” she said.

“It’s been quite a turn­ing point in how I view life.

“I felt very pre­pared in the mo­ment; it was just a nor­mal shift – we went into work mode and ‘let’s get it done’.”

Ian Mitchel with life­guards James An­netts, Pia Rodgers and Molly Hig­gins, who helped save his life.

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