Upminster schoolgirl Naomi, 8, in pool rescue

PUBLISHED: 08:00 22 August 2013

Naomi McCarthy, eight, saved a girl during a pool lesson

Naomi McCarthy, eight, saved a girl during a pool lesson


A quick-thinking Upminster schoolgirl has been praised for her lifesaving skills after she rescued a classmate during a swimming lesson.

Naomi McCarthy, eight, of River Drive, was taking part in a supervised play session at Barracudas swimming class in Coopers’ Company and Coborn School, Upminster, when she heard shouts from a fellow pupil.

“I was in the pool with my friends when I heard a little girl crying for help,” said Naomi, who goes to Engayne Primary School.

“I grabbed a woggle [swimming float] and put my left arm around her neck so her chin was up and started to swim to the edge.

“Then one of the lifeguards jumped in and helped.

“I felt very good to help someone. The next day the helpers gave me two big bags of sweets for being quick thinking and helping.”

Mum Rayna said Naomi’s older brother Luke, 12, had taught her lifesaving skills during a family holiday.

And during the rescue, Naomi remembered Luke’s advice: “Hold her head up so she can breathe.”

Rayna added she and Naomi’s dad Rory were very proud of their little lifesaver.

“Naomi likes practising lifesaving skills,” she said, “but we didn’t think she would need them so young.”

She added the lifeguard at the school had reacted “very quickly” and was attending to the nine-year-old girl moments after Naomi began carrying her to the side of the pool.

It’s thought the girl had got into trouble after coming free from a rubber ring she was using.

Adrian Lole, director of lifesaving development at the Royal Life Saving Society UK, the drowning prevention charity, said: “Firstly I would like to congratulate Naomi for her actions and commend her for her quick thinking.

“It is great that she learnt lifesaving skills from her brother and she knew how to use them to help her classmate after she got into trouble in the water. Well done, Naomi.

“Secondly, we would urge everyone, of any age, to enrol on a life saving course at their local pool or leisure centre – it really can mean the difference between life and death.”

Barracudas declined to comment but confirmed it was aware of the incident.

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