Hero pool worker beats swimming phobia

IPSWICH: A pool worker who was branded a hero after playing her part in a dramatic rescue today told of her pride at beating her phobia of swimming.

IPSWICH: A pool worker who was branded a hero after playing her part in a dramatic rescue today told of her pride at beating her phobia of swimming.

After years of dodging the water, Maxine Smith signed up to take a lifeguard qualification with the support of teenage daughter Natalie-Mae.

The Crown Pools swimming co-ordinator had not been in the water for ten years when she decided to take the National Pool Lifeguard Qualification (NPLQ) to finally combat her fears.

Both Mrs Smith, who has worked at Crown Pools for 23 years, and 17-year-old daughter Natalie-Mae passed the NPLQ on the same day.


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Mrs Smith said: “I hadn't been into the water for ten years.

“I just grew such a fear of getting my face wet and I hated getting my hair wet.

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“It was a really big deal deciding to take the course - I was very apprehensive about it all.”

Mrs Smith hit the headlines in March when she was part of a heroic team who saved the life of a swimmer who had suffered a suspected heart attack.

Jean Westley fell ill during her regular swim and when her pulse stopped, lifeguards and pool workers sprung into action, pulling her from the water and using a defibrillator to start her heart again.

Mrs Smith, who had recently completed an emergency response course prior to the rescue, said: “I had to use my skills to assist a woman who had suffered from a heart attack - before my training I wouldn't have been able to do that.

“Now I'm so glad that I've taken on all of these qualifications because I've learnt so much and doing it with Natalie was so great.”

For more information on the NPLQ visit www.lifesavers.org.uk/iql/nplq

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