Nine-year-old saves drowning toddler

Ethan Temmens, nine, from Leyland, who rescued a young child's life in Florida. He received his award from Sherrif Jerry Demings from Orange County.
Ethan Temmens, nine, from Leyland, who rescued a young child's life in Florida. He received his award from Sherrif Jerry Demings from Orange County.
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A quick-thinking nine-year-old from Leyland has been feted as a hero in the United States for saving a toddler from drowning.

Schoolboy Ethan Temmen pulled the lifeless body of the two-year-old from the bottom of a hotel swimming pool during a Disney holiday in Florida.

Bystanders revived the little girl at the poolside and she made a full recovery after a night in hospital.

Now courageous Ethan has appeared on eight TV channels in the States after the local police chief rewarded him with a top bravery medal.

“I’m just glad she is OK,” Ethan told the Guardian from the family’s hotel room in Orlando. “It was really scary.”

Mum Susan Thompson, who witnessed the drama, said: “Ethan got the child’s head out of the water as quick as he could.

“She wasn’t breathing and there was no pulse.

“Ethan’s older brother Aaron ran to get help, then people on the side of the pool did CPR and she came to.

“They kept her in hospital overnight, but she’s totally fine now. I’m incredibly proud of both my boys.

“It was brilliant the way they acted in a real life emergency. If they hadn’t done what they did the little girl could have died.”

Ethan was in the pool with other children at the Wyndham Lake Buena Vista Resort Hotel when he spotted the toddler face down.

“I found her under the water and I tried to get her head out,” he said. “I know how to save someone’s life because Aaron and me have practised it loads of times.

“If you see someone like that you have to try and help in any way you can.”

The drama unfolded late in the evening when there were no lifeguards watching the pool.

The little girl, from New York, was being supervised by her eight-year-old brother while her family were in another part of the hotel.

“I was watching my two like a hawk from the side of the pool, even though they can both swim like fishes,” said Mrs Thompson. “Suddenly there was a scream and Ethan just dragged the girl to the surface and got her out.

“It all happened so fast, but he knew he had to get her out of the water.”

Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings presented Ethan with a medal and citation for his “quick-thinking and unselfish actions which directly led to the child’s survival.”

Mum and her two boys were given a tour of Orlando and hotel management presented them with two-day passes for the nearby Walt Disney World.

“It was very distressing for us all, and the hardest thing was getting the boys back in the pool after what had happened,” revealed Mrs Thompson. “But the hotel were great and the Disney passes helped to cheer them up.”

Back in Leyland, dad Colin Temmen said: “I can’t tell you how proud I am. The boys phoned me – they thought I wouldn’t believe them.

“Aaron swims for Leyland Barracudas and has done his lifesaving award.

“Amazingly Ethan can’t get in yet and needs a few more lessons.”