It’s never too early to dive into water safety.
Three Canadian 11-year-old girls are being praised as local heroes for saving two swimmers from drowning in the ocean off of a British Columbia beach on the evening August 18.
According to the Surrey-Now Leader, Georgia Springate, Kate Hunter and Lily Cox were pier-jumping at Crescent Beach in Surrey when they noticed a young woman and a teenager caught in a current. Having just graduated from a summer junior lifeguarding class for 10- to 14-year-olds, they immediately jumped into crisis mode.
“We just reacted; it was kind of like an instinct,” Springate said of rescuing the young woman, guessing she was about 20-years-old. “It looked like she had been there for a while and the water was pretty cold, so I don't know if she would have made it on her own.”
Working as a team, Cox swam the woman to safety, while Springate and Hunter retrieved the teenager, thought to be about 13, and fully clothed.
Witnessing the scene, Georgia's mother Cynthia Springate described how frightening the rescue was. “This was a dangerous scenario. These girls were starting to bob under the water as our girls approached them, and, at any time, this could have turned into a rescuer-becomes-the-victim” situation, she said.
Lily’s mother Julie Cox remarked that, even through the events, most of the other Crescent Beach goers didn’t even notice the potentially fatal situation. “If the girls hadn’t been in the water, I don’t know how [the swimmers] would’ve gotten that assistance,” she said.
After being rescued, Springate, Hunter and Cox said the swimmers appeared in shock and expressed their gratitude for their swift aid.
According to CBC News, the City of Surrey is considering posting signs warning of pier jumping to prevent such potential tragedies in the future.
“There were plenty of adults on hand but it was these three girls that assessed the situation, jumped in and prevented what could have been a catastrophe,” wrote Bob Armstrong, president of the Crescent Beach Swim Club, where the girls attended junior lifeguarding class, in a newsletter.
“We are extremely proud of you.”