Senior Face-to-face Fundraiser James Kelsall
‘On an incredibly hot and calm day in South Devon during July 2013, I went for a swim in my lunch break.
‘The water was completely calm and there were no waves or currents. Being a surfer, a fairly strong swimmer and knowing the area well, I didn’t feel in any danger at all. I was just wearing board shorts and no wetsuit.
‘After being in the water for about 45 seconds, I swam down to the bottom. I was probably under the water for only 8-10 seconds, but on my way back up I blacked out. I came up to the surface and was unconscious in the water.
‘Jack Ellis, the lifeguard on duty, noticed me, paddled over and safely got me on the back of his rescue board; holding me there until I regained consciousness.
‘I remember coming back up towards the surface and feeling no panic at all. The next thing I knew I was on the back of the rescue board, feeling very confused.’
If Jack hadn’t been so close, it could have easily gone another way – it really emphasises the importance of having lifeguards around when you’re in the water. And that’s why I #RespectTheWater.
Share James's story
Spread the word about our Respect the Water drowning prevention campaign and help keep others safe in and around the water.
Together we can save more lives.