Hedland lifeguard awarded for saving life of young boy

19 November 2020

Lifeguard Charlea Waterfall has received a Royal Life Saving Bravery Commendation for her ability to put her training into action during an incident in November last year. 

More than 10 million visits are made to WA’s public aquatic centres each year, and the vast majority of these are uneventful. When emergencies happen, however, there is a well-trained workforce ready to spring into action to save lives, and Charlea is proof of this!

16-year-old Charlea was working as the Lifeguard on Duty at the South Hedland Aquatic Centre, when she noticed a patron in trouble in the pool. A child had drifted away from the rest of his swimming class and into deeper water, where he began to panic and struggle in the water. 

Charlea instantly recognised the signs of drowning and immediately responded, entering the water to retrieve the child. She towed him to the edge of the pool and removed him from the water where she assessed him for injuries. Thanks to Charlea’s quick thinking and timely response, the boy was unharmed and still enjoys his swimming lessons today!

Charlea was awarded a Royal Life Saving Bravery Commendation for displaying great maturity and initiative in recognising and reacting to the situation. She was presented with her award at a special presentation ceremony held in Port Hedland on Thursday 12th November. 

Town of Port Hedland Mayor Peter Carter, who was a special guest at the ceremony, said, “the Town is exceptionally proud of Charlea Waterfall, a lifeguard employed through the Town whose quick thinking and bravery saved the life of a young learn-to-swim student.”

Charlea obtained her pool lifeguard qualification through Royal Life Saving WA's Talent Pool Program, an innovative training and employment program for young people in the aquatic industry. Talent Pool Program Manager Tim Turner is extremely proud to see Charlea's training lead to such a great outcome, and at such a young age. We are sure there is a bright future ahead for Charlea!

Do you know someone who has responded in an emergency to save a life? Nominate them for a Royal Life Saving Bravery Award at the link below.

Explore more button