AN Evesham woman who helped rescue a four-year-old boy from drowning in a swimming pool has been recognised with a national award.

Off duty ambulance service technician Emma Ames was first to answer the call after four-year-old Sammy Potts was dragged lifeless from the water at Brean Splash Waterpark in Brean, Somerset.

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The Stourport boy, who could not swim, jumped into main swimming pool and sank to the bottom, face down and motionless.

Zoe Harding was swimming at the time and reached down, pulling him to the surface but he was blue in the face and not breathing. She waded to the poolside with him in her arms and screamed for a lifeguard.

Emma rushed to the scene and realised Sammy had suffered heart failure and immediately began administering cardiac pulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

Sammy began to show signs of life and regained consciousness, and was taken to hospital where he was detained for two days but went on to make a full recovery.

Emma, 37, has been awarded a Royal Humane Society Resuscitation Certificate for saving him. Zoe is also to receive one of the society’s Certificates of Commendation.

No date has yet been fixed for presentation of the awards, but the Evesham resident is expected to receive hers soon.

In addition to the awards Emma and Zoe have also won the personal praise of Andrew Chapman, Royal Humane Society secretary.

Speaking at the Society’s London headquarters as he announced the awards the secretary said : “Zoe was the right person in the right place at the right time.

"If she had not spotted Sammy while she was swimming he would certainly have drowned. She later described the incident as ‘the worst thing she has had to do in her life.’

“However, she managed to get him to the surface and the side of the pool where Emma immediately began administering CPR.

"There is no doubt that between the two of them they were responsible for him being brought back from the brink of death.

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“They are true heroines and both richly deserve the awards they are to receive.

"At the same time this is yet another incident which emphasizes the value of as many people as possible learning CPR techniques.

"I’m sure no one who learns them really wants to be called on to use them, but as this case shows, they can make the difference between life and death."

The roots of the Royal Humane Society stretch back more than two centuries and it honours bravery in saving lives.