THREE Year 9 students at Sydney Secondary College have been lauded for their actions after pulling a drowning boy from the water at Olympic Park Aquatic Centre last week.
Thomas Hall, Tobin Smith and Harry Bibrack, all of Leichhardt, were near the Homebush centre's whirlpool feature about 4pm on Thursday when Tobin noticed the little boy float past him, face-down in the water.
He alerted his friend Thomas, a couple of metres away, to check if the child was okay before he was about to be pulled back into the whirlpool.
"I tapped him, no response, and I picked him up and water came out of his mouth, and my first reaction was to get a lifeguard as soon as possible," Thomas told Nine News, which featured the boys in their Friday evening news bulletins. "The moment I realised he was unconscious was the biggest shock to me."
Tobin jumped from the pool to call the ambulance. "I went over to this woman and I was like, do you have a phone? And she said yes, and she froze, she couldn't speak, so I grabbed the phone and dialled 000 and got the ambulance on the line."
Quick thinking, calm, ready to help. Our teens are alright,- Cr Philippa Scott
Lifeguards and an off-duty paramedic and nurse worked to revive the five-year-old boy, who is believed to have been underwater for about four minutes. Several police and ambulance units attended the scene, and the pools were evacuated and the aquatic centre shut.
The boy was rushed to Westmead Children's Hospital, where he was later reported to be in a critical but stable condition. He remained in the intensive care unit on Monday.
Tobin, who was celebrating his 15th birthday, told Inner West Review that if the three boys - who have been friends since their primary school days at Leichhardt Public - hadn't caught an Uber rather than public transport to the aquatic centre, they might not have been there to see the boy in the busy pool.
"We were in the right place at the right time," he said.
Said Harry: "It feels good we helped him as well because you don't want to lose your kid at the age of 5 years old."
Leichhardt councillor Philippa Scott was among those to praise the "heroic" local teens. "Quick thinking, calm, ready to help. Our teens are alright," she said.
Have something to say? Send a letter to the editor at: email@example.com
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can access our trusted content:
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.