SAVING GRACE: Chloe Husband, 8, and her cousin Edie Ponsonby, 3, share a special bond.
SAVING GRACE: Chloe Husband, 8, and her cousin Edie Ponsonby, 3, share a special bond. Trevor Veale

Pool hero Chloe rescues cousin

IT'S a beautiful portrait of two close cousins but the importance behind this image is that despite swimming pool registration, fencing and parental supervision, backyard drownings can still happen.

Chloe Husband, 8, has been hailed a "little hero" after she averted tragedy by pulling her cousin Edie Ponsonby, 3, to safety seconds after she tripped and fell into a pool.

The incident happened at a family barbecue in Coffs Harbour and apparently went unnoticed before Chloe reacted.

"I was in the pool swimming when I saw her fall in," Chloe said.

"She was under the water and I grabbed her and pulled her up and walked her to the shallow end, then my Uncle Peter got her out of the water."

Edie's relieved mother, Kerry-Louise Parker, who was nursing a child and could only watch on, said Chloe's actions were amazing.

"Chloe kept her cool, swam to her side, held her afloat and treaded water until she was pulled to safety," Kerry-Louise said.

"I'm just so proud of her. If she had not of acted it could have taken a few minutes before someone else did."

Chloe's mum, Harmonie Ricketts, said the incident served as an important pool safety warning ahead of summer.

"There were a lot of adults sitting around supervising the kids in the pool but it just goes to show that within a second something like this can happen - it's just so lucky Chloe was there," Harmonie said.

"I'm a school teacher and I've seen a lot of children who cannot swim here in Coffs Harbour, which is a concern.

"This incident shows how important it is that children have swimming lessons and are water competent, know how to swim or get safely to the edge of the pool at a young age."

It's a safety message the Royal Life Saving Association has promoted across Australia for 119 years.

The reality, however, is that drownings in children aged under five still account for 50% of all child drowning deaths.

Sadly six children under five drowned in New South Wales in the 12 months to June this year.

Pools continue to pose the highest drowning risk to youngsters, with almost 70% of those deaths happening in swimming pools.



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