Trained lifeguard Emily’s instinct helps save struggling student

Emily Preston rescued a woman from the sea
Emily Preston rescued a woman from the sea

A STUDENT who bravely rescued a woman from the sea in the early hours of the morning has spoken about the incident.

Emily Preston, who is studying physical education at the Brighton University campus in Eastbourne, was celebrating the end of the year on the beach with her friends back in June.

The 19-year-old first year student is a trained lifeguard and has worked at her local pool in her home town in Buckinghamshire for around two-and-a-half years.

On June 6, during an end-of-year party at around 2.30am, Emily had to put her training to the test and dive into the sea to rescue a fellow student.

She said, “I couldn’t help but stop this instinct in me to recognise a casualty and immediately feel responsible for the rescue and to get into the sea.

“The police came down that night and were spotlighting people in the sea with their torches and I was particularly watching one girl who was obviously very drunk and on her own.

“She began by celebrating in the sea, arms waving around and then floated for a bit looking towards the beach.

“At this point she passed out and collapsed into the distinctive casualty position of head in the water with arms either side.

“I immediately knew to go in regardless of any danger to myself, the freezing cold sea and my valuable possessions in a bag which I took off and left on the beach.

“Luckily the club theme that night was beach-themed so I was wearing a bikini and wetsuit.

“I ran in, swam to her, turned her over and pulled her back and on to the beach.

“As soon as I got her on the beach, the police were ready to receive her and took over her first aid even though I felt I was prepared to do this stage of the rescue.

“I stayed the whole time, pushing back people from the scene and waiting for the paramedics. They came and went to her aid,

“I remember they got her breathing, pumping oxygen into her however she remained part unconscious with her eyes closed but she began throwing up.”

Emily says the police thanked her for saving the girl’s life.

Emily (right) added, “I didn’t even know her name but the adrenalin, worry, shock and realisation of the situation, hit me like a ton of bricks and I burst into tears so I was grateful my friends were ready to receive me. It wasn’t an ideal end to the night and I still have images in my head from the night, but I am proud of what I’ve done and so are my friends and family.”