I'm just so happy both my daughters are alive - hero 12-year-old's dad

2016-02-17 10:43
Paramedics Richard Schouten (L) and Konrad Jones flank Beth Laas, 12, and her sister Erin, 6. (Netcare 911)

Paramedics Richard Schouten (L) and Konrad Jones flank Beth Laas, 12, and her sister Erin, 6. (Netcare 911)

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Durban - “I am just so happy both my daughters are alive and can sleep in their beds," Richards Bay father Dries Laas said after his eldest daughter heroically risked her own life to save her sister from drowning.

Their ordeal played out in tense moments on the beach near Pelican Island ten days ago, when 12-year-old Beth and her sister Erin, 6, tried to go back to the beach from a sand bank.

Erin disappeared underwater and Beth dived in for her and pushed her to the surface, only coming back up when she needed to breathe.

"I am immensely proud of my daughter for what she did, and there is nothing that I can say that could detract from her actions,” Laas said.

Hero award

On Tuesday, paramedics went to Beth's school and presented her with a Netcare 911 Hero award. Erin was given a "doctor's set".

"It is always commendable to see one person put themselves in danger to save another person, but when a 12-year-old does this it, it shows a true hero," Netcare 911 spokesperson Chris Botha said.

At the time of the incident, Botha reported that Beth was in a serious condition after saving her sister’s life. 

- Read more: Heroic girl in hospital after saving little sister from drowning

"Reports indicate that two were on a sand bank at Pelican Island. While their dad had gone to surf, the two children made their way back to the beach. The little child disappeared under the water as they tried to cross a trough and got into difficulty," he said at the time.

"The 12-year-old [Beth] immediately dived into the water and pushed her sister to the surface, only coming up herself when she needed to breathe. Her father noticed this and raced to their assistance and when he got to them, he pulled the youngest child onto the surfboard. When he pulled the other child out he found that she had stopped breathing.

"As he was racing towards the water’s edge Beth gave a big cough, brought up some mucus-filled water, and started breathing on her own. The Netcare 911... paramedic treated the child at the scene before transporting her to a local hospital for the care that she required. Truly this girl was the hero," he said.

(Netcare 911)

Read more on:    durban  |  drownings  |  good news

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