National award for Sidcup’s Magnificent Seven

08 February 2017

Seven members of staff from Sidcup Leisure Centre have been honoured with national awards from the Royal Life Saving Society UK (RLSS UK) after saving the life of a swimmer.

The prestigious Certificate of Commendation recognises the vital role the team played in preventing the death of Richard Bowers, a retiree from Bexley.

A regular user of the swimming pool, Richard had just finished his swim when he became disorientated. Lifeguard, Shauna Wye was alerted and immediately sounded the alarm. Within 15 seconds a team of lifeguards and staff were at the main pool where Richard was being supported in the water by three fellow swimmers.

Less than a minute after being lifted out of the pool and placed in the recovery position, Richard had stopped breathing. The team immediately administered CPR. After two rounds of CPR and two shocks from a defibrillator, Roger started to breathe again although he remained unconscious.

He was still unconscious when the paramedics arrived 11 minutes later. Richard was taken to hospital where he underwent surgery to have stents fitted to his heart.

“Our staff undergo monthly RLSS UK training to keep their lifesaving skills up-to-date. The paramedics were full of praise for how the team performed on the day; their actions undoubtedly saved Richard’s life. As their manager, I am immensely proud and we are all delighted to hear that Richard is recovering well,” said Lee Clark, Manager of Sidcup Leisure Centre.

RLSS UK Chief Executive, Di Steer, said: “We were pleased to hear about the staff at Sidcup Leisure Centre using the skills they have learnt through the RLSS UK National Pool Lifeguard Qualification (NPLQ) to save a swimmers life.

“Our NPLQ not only gives lifeguards the skills and abilities to keep people safe in and around a pool, it gives them life skills that they can use to save lives outside of a pool environment.”

There are more than 90,000 RLSS UK Pool Lifeguards in the UK trained in the NPLQ. RLSS UK’s NPLQ is the most awarded lifeguard qualification in the United Kingdom and Ireland with around 95 per cent of all pool lifeguards trained by RLSS UK.

The members of staff to be honoured with the RLSS UK award are:

  • Marina Snelling – Aquazone Co-ordinator
  • Leanne Wye – Duty Manager
  • Luke Cheeseman – Recreation Assistant
  • Shauna Wye – Recreation Assistant
  • Freddie I’Anson – Recreation Assistant
  • Ashley Care – Fitness Leader
  • Lee Clark – Centre Manager


For more information on RLSS UK –

Follow us on Twitter – @RLSSUK

Visit our Facebook page –

Join our LinkedIn page – @rlssuk

Call – 0300 323 0096

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.

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.

Drowning Prevention Week is the national campaign run by the Royal Life Saving Society UK to cut down the number of accidental drowning that occur each year and support families affected by drowning. The next campaign will run in June 2017.

For more information and interview/spokesperson opportunities contact Olivia Healey on 0300 3230 096 or email [email protected]