WATCH: Hero gym cleaner saves swimmer from drowning

2019-04-09 15:46
Picture: Screen grab

Picture: Screen grab

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Note: This story has since developed and the gym staff will be honoured for their efforts. Read more here:

Hero gym staff to be honoured for pool rescue

A cleaner has been lauded as a hero after saving a swimmer from drowning in a Johannesburg gym pool.

A CCTV video recording shows the gym user coming to the end of a lap, before suddenly slipping beneath the water.

Also read: WATCH: Hero gym staff given red carpet treatment after saving swimmer's life

The incident happened at Planet Fitness in Craighall Park on April 3. 

Luckily for the man, 23-year-old Karabo Thosago was nearby moving old pool nets.

"I heard a yell and then I just ran to check and found the guy floating under water," Thosago told News24.

"I was so scared, very scared… I've never seen something like that. I just thought that if I don't jump in, then this person can die in a matter of seconds."

Thosago promptly dived into the pool and lifted the man's head above water.

"With no hesitation, he jumped in, he was very brave," the gym's general manager Shanice Butcher told News24.

Almost immediately, Thosago was joined by several other staff members who jumped in and helped to get the man out of the pool.

'He literally saved someone's life'

"It was terrifying at the time, but when we looked at it afterwards, it was within seven seconds that they got the gentleman out," Butcher said.

She said the man – a regular gym user – was transported to hospital and had made a full recovery. She could not confirm what led to the man losing consciousness, describing him as otherwise healthy.

Butcher said she had high praise for the whole team, especially since the cleaners do not have formal first aid training. 

"I was very impressed; I'm not going to lie… everyone stayed calm," she said.

Thosago has worked as a cleaner at the gym since July last year, but told the management he would like to become a life guard.

Butcher said she has happily agreed to put in a good word for him so that he can realise his dream. She said she had also notified their head office on the same day to tell them about the incident.

"He literally saved someone's life," she said.

Read more on:    johannesburg  |  good news
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