Brothers work together to save a life

2 January 2018

Seventeen-year-old Brady Collett was spearfishing off the coast of Christmas Island when he suddenly blacked out.

“I did two dives in a short amount of time, so I had a lot of carbon dioxide in my blood. On the third dive I went down to 25 metres,” he wrote in his award-winning story for ABC Heywire.

“I had just reached the surface when I blacked out.

“I wasn't even aware I was unconscious; I was dreaming that I was still diving in that exact spot with the same people. When I came to, I started coughing up blood.

“It was a 200-metre swim to the nearest beach and I knew I had to get to the hospital. I'd punctured a lung.”

Fortunately, Brady was spearfishing with brothers Thomas and Samuel Hicks. Experienced swimmers, the two boys were able to roll Brady over and open his mouth to clear his airway, and then swim back to shore with him.

“My friends helped me get to the hospital, where I was put on oxygen and Medivaced off Christmas Island. I remember all the doctors saying, ‘You're lucky to be alive.’”

Thomas and Samuel’s mother Kathryn attributes her sons’ bravery to the lifesaving skills taught to them by both their dad Terry and local Sharon Francis.

Sharon, a Royal Life Saving WA aquatic trainer and teacher at Christmas Island District High School, is passionate about Island children having the opportunity to learn vital swimming and water safety skills. Sharon organises swimming and water-safety lessons through the recreation centre and in-term swimming.

Thomas and Samuel’s actions resulted in them being recipients of the Royal Life Saving Gold Medallion Bravery Award. They are both grateful they knew what to do and that the end result was positive.

Since saving Brady’s life, Thomas has completed his Bronze Medallion and started work as a lifeguard at the local leisure centre.

“The boys have discovered first-hand how important it is to have lifesaving skills,” their mum says proudly.

If you'd like the skills to save a life, enrol in a lifesaving course today!

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