Welcome to SWASFT

Boy, 6, Saved in Swimming Pool Drowning Scare

Riley reunion

A young boy who survived a near-drowning at a Devon swimming pool has been reunited with the South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SWASFT) crew who saved him.

Riley Broome, 6, was at the Riviera International Centre, Torquay, in September with his younger brother and great grandmother when he went underwater.

Riley was unconscious and not breathing, and needed urgent medical help.

A pool lifeguard and an off-duty nurse began CPR after he was pulled from the water.

Off-duty SWASFT student paramedic Joe Cartwright stepped in to continue the resuscitation effort and support Riley until ambulance crews arrived.

Riley, who is now seven, and his mother, Tash Munro, went to Torquay Ambulance Station on Thursday 21 February to thank Joe for coming to his aid.

Joe said: “At the time my training and adrenaline took over, but once I had time to reflect I realised the magnitude of what had just happened.

“It’s been lovely to meet Riley again. He was very poorly, but now he’s much livelier.”

Riley and Tash also thanked Lead Paramedic Kate Butler, Paramedic Hannah Guest, and Emergency Care Assistant Robert Dale who treated him as well.

Riley was driven by ambulance to hospital where he stayed for the rest of the day.

Tash, who was at home with her new-born baby at the time of the incident, said: “A normal Saturday morning almost turned into the worst of my life. I got a call to say Riley was face down in the deep end. But the lifeguard, the off-duty nurse, and the off-duty paramedic were amazing. They brought him back to life. I’m so thankful.

“Having seen the CCTV footage, this seems to have been an example of silent drowning, because no one realised what was happening to Riley until someone bumped into him.

“When you go swimming with young children, you’ve got to have eyes in the back of your head, because you never know what might happen.”

Joe, who is also a retained firefighter, said: “I was told that a boy had been pulled from the water and was not breathing. When I arrived to help he was grey, but then he began coughing up water and breathing for himself.

“At first he was barely conscious. I kept talking to him, and tried to keep him calm and warm. I monitored him and checked his breathing until the crews arrived. Then I carried him into the ambulance.

“The nurse and the lifeguard did an amazing job with the initial CPR. I’m pleased I was able to help with the CPR and the post-resuscitation care. At the time my training and adrenaline took over, but once I had time to reflect I realised the magnitude of what had just happened.”

If you suspect someone is drowning: attempt to rescue them if safe, begin CPR if they aren’t breathing, and call 999 for an ambulance.

South Western Ambulance Charity logo

South Western Ambulance Charity

The South Western Ambulance Charity, founded in 1995, uses gifted monies to benefit those in our communities who use our service and to improve the welfare of the staff and volunteers of the South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust. 

Our charitable support covers Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, Devon, Dorset, Gloucestershire, Somerset and Wiltshire including Bristol and Swindon.

If you would like to show your appreciation for the care that you or your loved one has received from us in the form of a charitable donation please visit our online giving website: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/charities/SWASC.