Water Safety


Rescue at Cheltenham Beach

Matt was a sensible child, always hesitant when confronted with potentially dangerous situations, even at the age of five. He was really aware of his surroundings and often needed a helping hand when participating in new activities. Swimming was one of Matt’s favourite things to do and they were lucky as a close family friend had a pool in the backyard of their house. Matt was always paddling on the step and although too dubious of the water to ever put his head under, he still had fun in the water. So when his mother, Beatrice, had to perform a rescue in the calm quiet waters of Cheltenham Beach she was highly surprised. How this incident unfolded was really simple and could quite simply have happened to anyone. Often at high tide, the sea floor drops off drastically just beyond the water’s edge, causing the water to become very deep very soon. Matt had been playing at knee depth with a rugby ball that he was given for Christmas. When the ball drifted out slightly, like most children Matt took off after it, expecting the water to continue at the same manageable depth. But suddenly the sea floor dropped out from beneath his feet and Matt was fully submerged. Thankfully, Beatrice was watching and being over twice Matt’s height was easily able to wade in and snatch him up. Matt and Beatrice managed to evade a sticky situation, and learnt a valuable lesson at the same time, the sea is unpredictable and can surprise you when you least expect it. If Matt had been involved in swimming lessons before the incident, he would have known how to either float on his back until help arrived or kick calmly back to standing depth. Beatrice enrolled Matt in lessons at their local pool straight away and is now proud to say that her beloved child is able to swim to survive.