News & Media

2 years ago in Community , Media release
(18/10/17) Freo lifesavers honoured

Four Fremantle Leisure Centre lifeguards have been honoured for their bravery in saving the life of a swimmer earlier this year.

James Annetts, Tia Stonehill, Parris Laurie and Andrea Thackray were all presented with a Royal Lifesaving Society Gold Star for bravery at a ceremony at Government House this morning. 

The group saved the life of 71-year-old Ian Mitchell, who suffered a serious stroke while swimming at the Leisure Centre in August.

After another patron raised the alarm, Tia and Parris hauled Mr Mitchell from the water and administered CPR while James and Andrea cleared the pool and called an ambulance.

“When the ambulance left our patient was breathing and had a pulse, but even after an extensive debrief we all felt anxious to know if our patient was going to live,” James said.

“The incident happened at 8.00 am Friday morning and we didn’t hear anything till 8.10 pm Saturday night, and it was such wonderful news to hear he was going to be fine.”

Tia said it was a great honour to be recognised with the award.

“It’s something that I didn’t expect but will cherish for the rest of my life and I’m very proud of earning,” Tia said.

“Nothing fills me with more joy than knowing that someone still has their husband, dad, brother, uncle, grandfather all due to our efforts and ability to do what was necessary that day in saving Mr Mitchell’s life.”

Mr Mitchell congratulated Tia, Parris, Andrea and James on receiving their awards.

“I wish to thank them for having the skills and smarts to pull an old bloke who was drowning out of the pool, to clear his airway, start CPR, call the Medics and save his life,” Mr Mitchell said.

“I want to thank John East and all the Fremantle Leisure Centre Staff for having efficient systems in place with well-trained personnel able to look after old blokes who get into strife in the pool.

“You have saved my life and I will always be grateful.”