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Quick-thinking 9-year-old boy saves a mother and daughter from drowning at beach

'It was windy, so I'm not surprised that they got swept off the beach.... by the time we got there, they were a long way out,' said a lifesaver.

Quick-thinking 9-year-old boy saves a mother and daughter from drowning at beach
Cover Image Source: YouTube | 7News

A 9-year-old child is being hailed a “champion” for alerting lifesavers just in time after he saw a mother and her daughter struggling in the water off a South Australian beach, reports 7NEWS Australia. The kid named Harley Londema was swimming at Moana Beach near Port Noarlunga with his family on February 20, Tuesday night, when he saw the two women in trouble. "It looked like they were waving, but it looked like they needed help and were trying to yell," Londema told 9NEWS.

Representative Image Source: Pexels | Marlon Trottmann
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Marlon Trottmann

His parents quickly went looking for help and met two lifesaver brothers, Michael and Tom Knauer, who were working out at the nearby surf club. The duo grabbed their boards and paddled out to help the mother and daughter, who were drowning. Tom told 9NEWS, “It was windy so I'm not surprised that they got swept off the beach ... by the time we got there, they were a long way out." “The mother was sort of, pretty much going under and her head was under,” said Michael. The duo had ended up 400m out from sea and were struggling to stay afloat.

Image Source: Pexels | Luca Nardone
Image Source: Pexels | Luca Nardone

The daughter was keeping the mother up, trying to keep her head above the water. "I think if I had been another minute or so she would have gone under," said Michael. The years of training helped the brothers to pull the 45 and 17-year-old women onto the boards. Londema said that the mother was exhausted and could not talk or get onto the board.

“The daughter was in tears when we were paddling and the mother was in tears on the board,” Michael told 7News Australia. The 17-year-old was assessed by the paramedics while the mother was taken to Flinders Medical Centre for assessment. Surf Life Saving South Australia emergency operations manager Sean Faulkner called the incident a near drowning experience. He said that this could have very well led to a fatality.


However, Tom Knauer said Londema was a “champion” for his quick-thinking and acting upon it. “He’s saved a life and he’s used his surf skills to help the public which is awesome,” he added. Michael said that even another minute in the water could have become tragic for the women. “I just hope they’re all right and they’re not scared of the ocean and they keep coming back and just be mindful of what the beach can do,” Michael said. Surf Life Saving SA said that the rescue efforts were worthy of national recognition so they will nominate everyone involved for an award with Surf Life Saving Australia. 


In another similar incident, a young boy leaped to save a drowning stranger. Ethan Cakmak had just come back from school when his dad, Erkan Cakmak, saw a car veering into a nearby lake with the driver still inside. He quickly called 911 but the son didn’t want to wait for the emergency services. He took a plunge into the lake even though it was cold and dirty water. "I realized that he needed help, he might drown. So, I ran outside, through the gate, took my shirt off, took everything out of my pockets and jumped into the water," Ethan said. 


As he was swimming towards the car he saw "the guy with his chin on his chest bobbing up and down." Hearing the man’s troubled breathing, he tried banging on the window but by then the man’s consciousness was last, so Ethan realized the best thing to do was to go back and wait for the emergency services. Soon, the first responders came and saved the man. Chandler's Police Sgt. Ricky Gonzales stated, "I think that's awesome. It goes to show that we're out here looking out for each other. Not just us, PD, and fire, but also our private citizens. That's pretty cool." 

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