Af­ter Susanna Mur­doch’s two-year-old daugh­ter Bella fell in a Perthshire river she was in­spired to be­come a baby swim­ming in­struc­tor.

Young­ster Bella fell in river, but re­mained calm thanks to her Water Ba­bies swim­ming train­ing

The Courier & Advertiser (Perth and Perthshire Edition) - - FRONT PAGE - GE­ORGE MAIR

A mum whose two year old daugh­ter fell in a Perthshire river on a camp­ing hol­i­day is to be­come a baby swim­ming in­struc­tor.

Susanna Mur­doch, 30, was just feet away when tod­dler Bella stum­bled while pad­dling in the River Al­mond near Aber­feldy.

In­stead of pan­ick­ing, Bella, who had been given swim­ming pool lessons from five months, in­stinc­tively started to swim on her own.

Mum of two Susanna, from Cri­eff, got to her daugh­ter within sec­onds but she is now de­ter­mined to teach other ba­bies the po­ten­tially life-sav­ing skills.

Speak­ing ahead of Na­tional Baby Swim­ming Week, which starts on Mon­day, she said: “Water is part of our lives, es­pe­cially where we live, which has rivers ev­ery­where, so it made sense to get Bella en­rolled for swim­ming classes when she was very young.

“We go camp­ing ev­ery year in the Sma’ Glen with other fam­i­lies, and there is an area by the river where we do dishes.

“I looked up and could see Bella pad­dling and hav­ing a splash and en­joy­ing her­self.

“I turned my head away for a sec­ond and looked over again and she’d fallen. She’d pad­dled a bit too far and lost her foot­ing and then she just in­stinc­tively started swim­ming.

“I went in to the water and scooped her up but she was so calm. The water wasn’t up to my knees but it was deep enough for a small child and it was cold.

“She in­stantly knew what to do. She just swam on to her back with­out panic un­til I got to her.

“The whole thing was over in sec­onds but it could have been many times worse.”

Susanna, who also has a son, Rhys, 10, has since been in­spired to ap­ply for a job with Water Ba­bies, the com­pany that taught Bella to swim.

She will be­gin train­ing in Novem­ber and hopes to start teach­ing in Cen­tral Scot­land next year.

She said: “Swim­ming is such an im­por­tant skill to have but not ev­ery child would be pre­pared for an in­ci­dent.

“I would love to be able to help some­one else ex­pe­ri­ence the Water Ba­bies jour­ney by teach­ing and pro­vid­ing such amaz­ing life skills for chil­dren.”

A spokesper­son for Water Ba­bies Scot­land Cen­tral said: “The sad fact is too many young chil­dren are not learn­ing ba­sic swim­ming skills and water safety, of­ten with tragic cir­cum­stances.

“What we do at Water Ba­bies is truly in­spi­ra­tional, so much so that Susanna her­self has de­cided to go on to be­come one of our in­struc­tors.”

Susanna’s daugh­ter Bella learn­ing to swim as a baby.

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