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Former Libra pupil saves a life

Hlanganani Denga was a pupil at Libra Swimming Academy up until June 2008 when his parents decided they were happy enough with his swimming ability and enrolled his younger brother in his place. Hlanganani (now 11yrs of age) and his family went on holiday up to Kariba in December 2009 together with another family. This is the story in Hlanganani’s own words:

On the 29th December we went on a holiday to Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe. We were excited and anxious to leave and so at 2am we started heading for Martin’s Drift border post, arriving there at 6am. We stayed at the Sunbird hotel for 2 days. On New Year’s day we drove to Kariba Resort at Kariba Dam. We swam and flew kites etc. It was my friend’s birthday and we also went water sliding.

The next day we went swimming again and my friend’s Dad also came. He can’t swim but he was sleeping on the boogie board and I tried to make sure he didn’t fall. But then my friend jumped in the pool and his Dad fell off the boogie board in the deep end. He was scared and he tried to grab me, but I swam away and got out of the pool. My friend wanted to help his Dad but I told him to also get out of the pool. I lay down on the side and stretched out my arm to him and he got my arm and then I pulled him to the side. He said I saved his life. He asked me where I learned to do that and I told him “with my old swimming teacher, Pam at the Gym.”  I remembered that when Pam taught us how to rescue others she said we must never try to rescue someone bigger than us from in the pool, as if they panic they could make us drown.

               Hlanganani Denga

When we got home from holiday, my mom told teacher Pam the story and she was impressed that I had remembered what she had taught me, and that I had saved someone’s life by doing so. She also said I was a hero and a champ. I learned how to save lives at Libra Swimming Academy – you should too, and then you can also be a hero.

Footnote by “teacher Pam”
We at Libra Swimming Academy are extremely proud of Hlanganani and definitely feel he is a hero. It is also gratifying to know that what we teach does save lives. Had Hlanganani and his friend tried to save the dad from within the pool there could have been tragic consequences - a large man in a panic could've drowned all 3 of them. 

                                                                                                                      Hlanganani with the man he had rescued

The teaching of rescues is part of Swimming South Africa’s program and all swim schools who are accredited with them should be teaching these skills. So look out for an accredited swim school near you and please enrol your children for lessons – instead of us continually reading about horrific drownings we can then start to hear more good stories of lives being saved. Adults – if you are a non- swimmer, please let this be a lesson to you – don’t go anywhere near the deep-end of a pool – and do the best thing you can do – enrol yourself for swimming lessons – yes adults can learn how to swim, and then you too can also save lives!!

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