Paul Swift

Paul SwiftSeventeen-year old lifesaver Paul Swift, a St John Ambulance Cadet from Lancashire received the Order of St John Gold Life Saving medal after rescuing a drowning woman and her young daughter from a canal.

This was the first time a St John Ambulance Cadet was awarded the Gold Life Saving medal. The award ceremony took place on Friday 10 October 2003 at the Priory Church, Clerkenwell, London.

On 22 April 2003 Paul jumped into the Leeds and Liverpool Canal, Blackburn after seeing a woman drowning in the canal. As he approached her, he saw there was also a small child in the water. Paul grabbed hold of the child who was face down in the water, and pulled her to the side of the canal.

At this time a nearby lock was draining and Paul was struggling against the strong currents. His girlfriend helped him and the child onto land and Paul checked the child's airway and breathing and put her in the recovery position. Paul jumped back into the water, despite the heavy currents, to help the drowning woman who was now semi responsive. He managed to get her to the side of the canal where a man helped get them out of the water. Again, Paul checked the casualty's airway and breathing, put her in the recovery position and then covered her with his coat to keep her warm.

Source: Museum of the Order of St John

Contact and copyright info