Holiday hero swim teacher saves child’s life

30 January 2018
Local swimming teacher and IQL Trainer Assessor, Janet Wade found herself practising what she preaches this summer, after saving a boy’s life whilst on holiday with her family.

Janet Wade and Clare Dunn

Local swimming teacher and IQL Trainer Assessor, Janet Wade found herself practising what she preaches this summer, after saving a boy’s life whilst on holiday with her family.

Janet has been with the Royal Life Saving Society UK (RLSS UK) since 2009 and with her IQL UK qualifications, can usually found training teachers in first aid and coaching students through their swim strokes at Birkenhead High School Academy. Beyond the school gates, Janet’s passion for water safety and drowning prevention extends into the school holidays, running local lifeguarding and first aid courses through her own local business, Absolute Training.

In a break from lifeguarding courses this August, Janet was enjoying a family holiday in Clearwater, Florida when the near-drowning occurred:

“Very quickly I knew something was wrong, the little boy wasn’t moving and was floating face down in the deep end of the pool. I dived in, got him onto the poolside and quickly realised I needed to start CPR because he wasn’t breathing. No words can describe the overwhelming relief I felt, hearing the two-year-old start breathing again. The paramedics were very quick on the scene with the aftercare he needed.”

Writing to Janet after the event, Levi’s mum Chelsea Smith couldn’t have been more grateful:

“There is not enough thanks in the world to thank Janet for truly being our son’s angel and hero! She is the reason my son is here today. Even the doctors were in shock at how well he was doing, their exact words were ‘It’s like it didn’t even happen, he is perfect, he had an angel over him’. God bless you and your beautiful family.”

“I was just glad I was able to help,” added Janet, “It just goes to show how valuable lifesaving skills can be and how they can be used when you’re least expecting it! I’d encourage anyone in the workplace or in the home, to take an emergency first aid course, you never know when you might be able to help save a life.”

Notes to Editors

The Royal Life Saving Society UK (RLSS UK) is the drowning prevention charity.  Around 400 people drown in the UK every year and the RLSS UK aims to prevent drowning through water safety education.

RLSS UK is the UK’s leading provider of training and education in lifesaving, lifeguarding, water safety and life support skills in the UK.  It is also the governing body for Lifesaving Sport.

Through its trading subsidiary, IQL UK, there are more than 90,000 RLSS UK Pool Lifeguards in the UK trained in the National Pool Lifeguard Qualification (NPLQ). Around 95 per cent of all pool lifeguards are trained by the RLSS UK.

RLSS UK awards and programmes teach a range of lifesaving skills ranging from life support (CPR) to water survival and rescue skills. Programmes include Rookie Lifeguard (for eight to12-year–olds), Survive and Save (for 12 years+) and Save a Baby’s Life (a free course aimed at parents and carers of young children).

The RLSS UK (then the Life Saving Society) was formed in 1891. In 1904, as there was great support for the organisation from the Royal Family, the society was granted permission to use the Royal title and became the Royal Life Saving Society.

For more information and interview/spokesperson opportunities contact Claire Huggins by emailing clairehuggins@rlss.org.uk or calling 0300 323 0096 opt 1.