1:35pm Tuesday 13th August 2013
By Emma Rigby
A WEEKEND away could have ended in tragedy for one Northwich family was it not for the quick-thinking of their teenage daughter.
The Mazier family, from Comberbach, had been enjoying a day at Ullswater lake with friends and family on July 20 when 53-year-old Simon found himself in difficulty after the canoe he was travelling in with his daughter Bethany capsized.
“I struggled to get to the surface with my clothes dragging me down and little help from a lifejacket which was designed for someone much smaller than me,” explained Simon.
“I can’t swim at all so when I found myself completely out of my depth with the water just below my mouth it was a pretty frightening sensation – as soon as I moved the water came up over my mouth and nose and I couldn’t breathe.”
Luckily for Simon, 13-year-old daughter Bethany - who attends Vale Royal Life Saving Club - was on hand to save the day.
“I came up next to dad after we capsized and could see how low he was in the water,” said the County High School, Leftwich student, who has been taking lifesaving lessons for just over two years.
“There was a little island about 10 metres away so I suggested we try to get to it but as soon as dad moved, the water came up over his head so he asked me to tow him.
“I was amazed at how calm he managed to stay because I know being a non-swimmer must have made it really scary for him.”
Bethany reassured her dad as they made their way to the island and once they reached it, she asked the questions she’d been trained to ask to make sure her dad was ok.
“My dad’s the best,” added Bethany.
“All my life he’s supported and cared for me so I’m just happy that the one time he needed my help I had the skills I needed to get him to safety.”
Vale Royal Life Saving Club have since praised Bethany, presenting her with an award for her bravery.
Chairman Geoff Dodd said: “Bethany’s actions could well have saved her dad’s life – it shows how important lifesaving training can be.”
The club meets at Sir John Deane’s Leisure Centre each Tuesday during term time at 8.15pm.
Geoff added: “Each week we have more than 30 youngsters aged from nine upwards who come along to learn lifesaving skills and have a lot of fun at the same time.
“We’re always happy to welcome new members.”
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