Former Hatfield student saves lives of two teenagers

PUBLISHED: 10:58 19 July 2017 | UPDATED: 10:58 19 July 2017

Hitchin swimming pool lifeguard Danny Buckley rescued two school children who got into trouble in the outdoor pool. Picture: Danny Loo

Hitchin swimming pool lifeguard Danny Buckley rescued two school children who got into trouble in the outdoor pool. Picture: Danny Loo

Danny Loo Photography 2017

'Not all superheroes wear capes!' - that was the message from the proud friends of a lifeguard who saved the lives of two teenagers on Monday.

Hitchin swimming pool lifeguard Danny Buckley rescued two school children who got into trouble in the outdoor pool. Picture: Danny LooHitchin swimming pool lifeguard Danny Buckley rescued two school children who got into trouble in the outdoor pool. Picture: Danny Loo

It was just another shift for pool attendant Danny Buckley, who earned a Master’s degree at the University of Hertfordshire, as a group of schoolchildren from Stevenage’s Nobel School visited the outdoor pool at Hitchin Swimming Centre.

The group of around 15 GCSE-age teens jumped into the water around 9.30am.

Danny, as an experienced lifeguard, kept watch.

However, as the final pair entered the shallow end to swim a length of the 50-metre pool Danny noticed they appeared to be struggling.

Modest Danny, 23, from Stevenage – takes up the tale.

He said: “As they approached the half-way point I thought to myself ‘they can’t swim’.

“I quickly walked to the side and shouted at them to get back. I don’t know if they genuinely couldn’t hear me or they just chose to ignore me but one of them got out of his depth and started panicking.

“He was holding onto the rope with one hand but went under. He then grabbed hold of his friend and both got into difficulties.”

Thankfully Danny’s training kicked in – he’s been a lifeguard since he was 16 – and without a moment’s thought for himself he dived into the water to save the pair, who were fully submerged.

He said: “When I was swimming underwater towards them I could see they were near the bottom.

“I grabbed one round the neck with my right arm, and one with my left, and pulled them to the surface.

“They were quite big lads and it was hard work but the adrenaline kicked as well as my training and I managed to save them.”

Danny’s colleague was looking on from the side, ready to help if required, but Danny pulled the pair back to the shallow end with his strong backstroke and the pair soon got out of the water.

He added: “We’re like a wolfpack and always try to help each other, but luckily I managed to pull them out myself.

“I don’t consider myself a hero in any way. I was literally just doing my job. I’ve trained for seven years for something like this and I just did it without thinking.

“My friends have been taking the mickey as they’ve joked to me: ‘Not all superheroes wear capes’ and I just laughed along with it.”

Eyewitness Susie Lanni, who watched the dramatic events unfold, said: “He seemed very calm and in control.

“The fact there were two boys struggling and he pulled them both back at the same time was impressive.

“Along with the other lifeguard, everything was under control in seconds.”

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