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Lifeguards and swimmers recognised for quick response

The City of Melbourne and Life Saving Victoria have recognised members of the public and lifeguards who worked together to save the life of Mohamad Alhaw, who suffered a seizure while swimming at the North Melbourne Recreation Centre on Sunday 10 January 2016.
Lily Desormeaux, Aleisha Whitson, and Mikaela Whitson were swimming in the 25 metre pool when they noticed that 11 year old Mohamad was floating on his stomach in the water and was unresponsive.
They alerted lifeguards Dylan Thorn and Harrison Leech who got Mohamad out of the water and immediately checked his airways and breathing.
Lifeguard James Weston and receptionist Georgia Garner called 000 and were assisted by lifeguards Jasper Kinder, Juan Lopez, and David Read. The team worked to clear 130 patrons from the pool and provided assistance to Mohamad’s mother Ranei Chkhi until paramedics arrived.
The quick actions of the patrons and the staff on duty meant CPR was not required. Mohamad was taken to hospital and has now made a full recovery.
Today Lord Mayor Robert Doyle presented the lifeguards and community members with a Life Saving Victoria Everyday Lifesaver Awards.

“Everyone involved acted quickly and confidently to deal with one of the toughest situations they could encounter while at work,” the Lord Mayor said.

“Their calm and efficient actions helped to save Mohamad’s life. Our lifeguards train extensively to prevent drownings, however in real life it is an extremely high pressure situation.

“We would like to offer Mohamad and his mother free swimming lessons to encourage them both back to the pool and to ensure they feel safe and confident in the water again.”

Life Saving Victoria General Manager Commercial Services Andy Dennis congratulated the group on their quick actions.

“Providing first aid quickly, before emergency services arrive, can make the difference between life and death,” Mr Dennis said.

“This incident highlights that being able to provide this treatment before paramedics arrive can increase chances of survival significantly. It also shows why supervision of children in aquatic environments is so important.”

The Royal Life Saving Society has reported that 59 people were the victims of fatal drownings between 1 December 2015 and 18 January 2016. Tragically, this is a 16 per cent increase on the same period last year.

For more information call (03) 9658 9658 or visit: melbourne.vic.gov.au