A trio of 11-year old girls are being hailed as heroes after they helped rescue a pair of swimmers from a strong current near a beach in Surrey, British Columbia earlier this month.
The three girls, Georgia Springate, Kate Hunter, and Lily Cox, are longtime friends who were enjoying themselves by the beach’s pier when they noticed a pair of swimmers – a young woman and a teenager – struggling to stay afloat amidst a strong current. Having just finished a lifeguarding class they took over the summer, the three quickly jumped into action.
“This girl was in the water — I think she was about 20 — and her friend had asked us to go help her, so we swam over,” explains Georgia.
Lily was able to grab a hold of the woman and help bring her to the pier through what she described as a “pretty cold, strong current.” All three then turned their attention to the teenager, who was fully clothed and fighting a losing battle with the current.
“The current was pulling (the younger swimmer),” recalls Lily’s mom, Julie Cox. “She was out for a fair amount of time. It was evident that she was going down. The second time (she went under), it was that little bit too long. That’s when the girls all circled around her.”
Lily admits that the girls were cold and getting tired. However, after efforts to get the teenager to the pier, the three friends who able to bring the struggling swimmer to the beach and out of harm’s way.
Cox, who watched the rescue from the shore, says few people on the beach realized what was happening. If the three girls hadn’t been there, it’s possible that no one would have come out to help the struggling swimmers.
“We just reacted; it was kind of like an instinct,” said Georgia. “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.”
“In the moment, we weren’t really thinking what to do,” adds Kate, who says the girls were acting purely on instinct, not to mention the skills they learned in their lifeguarding class.