HEROES: Teens pull unconscious child from bottom of pool
WHEN Dharma and Austin Brosnan pulled an unconscious six-year-old boy from a Central Queensland pool, they thought they'd watch him die.
But their quick rescue had saved his life.
The siblings were swimming with between 10 and 15 other children at the Marlborough Public Pool during a church day out.
Parents and older children were all around and everyone was having fun.
But then Dharma, 14, noticed the brother of the young girl she was swimming with had disappeared.
Searching the pool for him, Dharma noticed the six-year-old was sitting motionless at the bottom of the pool.
Dharma called for Austin, 13, who pulled the boy from the water before calling for help from adults and a life guard.
"When we first got him out of the water, he had already started to vomit up some water and was coughing but he kept on going down," Dharma said.
"His eyes were open but he was out of it.
"He was coughing, but he kept on going in and out (of consciousness) and sinking."
The boy regained consciousness after roughly 30 seconds and vomited up large amounts of water.
He was airlifted in a stable condition to Rockhampton Hospital by the RACQ Capricorn Helicopter Service and kept in overnight for observation.
While the outcome was the best anyone could hope for, Dharma and Austin were shaken by the experience.
"When I saw him staring up at me I thought either he's playing around or he's dead," Dharma said.
"When we got him out of the water, I thought he was going to die.
"It happened so quickly and no one noticed.
"You couldn't tell if anything was wrong.
"He was there one minute and gone the next."
Although Austin has done some water safety training with Navy cadets, Dharma joked most of her knowledge came from watching Bondi Rescue.
Proud mum Deborah yesterday said everyone was shocked by how fast everything had happened.
"Even with all those people around, you've only got to take your eyes off them for a second," Deborah said.
"That's all it takes for them to slip away.
"The parents who were closer and saw it before me said how well the two of them behaved, they were really calm and weren't panicking."
Drowning fast facts
- 280 people drowned in Australian waterways in the 2015/16 financial year
- This is up 5% on the 267 drowning deaths recorded the previous year
- There were 66 drowning deaths in Queensland
- 83% of all drowning deaths were male
- 21 children aged under four drowned
- 11 children aged 5 to 14 drowned in 2015/16
- 63 drowning deaths occurred at beaches
- 58 people died at rivers, creeks or streams
- 52 people between 25 to 34 drowned in 2015/16
- Source: The Royal Life Saving National Drowning Report 2016