A seven-year-old Christopher Cross girl will receive a rescuer award from the Canadian Red Cross after she helped save a toddler from drowning August 15.
On August 15, a gathering of family and friends was drawing to a close at a home in the community of Christopher Cross, when seven-year-old Keana Jeffery discovered that a two-year-old toddler had slipped unnoticed into a large inflatable pool and was struggling in water deep enough to cover her head.
Keana immediately climbed a ladder, and grabbed two-year-old Bria Doucet, keeping her head above water until adults arrived moments later and got her out.
The toddler was frightened but uninjured.
However where it takes only seconds for a toddler to drown, the Canadian Red Cross agrees the incident could have ended tragically had Keana not acted when she did, said Janice Babineau, communications co-ordinator, Canadian Red Cross / Atlantic Canada
The Red Cross will present Keana with its Rescuer Award, which in the case of children recognizes those who – without first aid or other training – intervene to save a life, prevent further injury or comfort the injured.
Keana will also be offered free participation next summer in Canadian Red Cross water safety day camps held every year for Island children in several communities throughout PEI including in Tignish, near her home.
The Rescuer Award will be presented in a brief gathering at Rodd Mill River resort, which is an authorized training partner of the Canadian Red Cross in swimming and water safety programs.
The presentation is set for Thursday Aug. 26 at 1:30 P.M. at Rodd Mill River Resort pool facility in Woodstock, West Prince.
The Red Cross said it’s been a disturbing year for drownings and other water-related fatalities, with over 200 such deaths so far across Canada in 2010 including at least 33 in the Atlantic Provinces.
Unlike other parts of the country, the Atlantic region has at least been spared the agony of a toddler drowning in a backyard pool, but it could easily have happened recently in rural P.E.I. were it not for the alertness and quick action of a young girl, said Babineau.