REGULAR SWIMMER Ed Bray was enjoying a swim at Clissold pool in Stoke Newington when he suddenly collapsed.
Still in the water, he shut down, he later recalled, “like a computer, when the power cord is pulled”.
The Camden schoolteacher stopped breathing and started to turn blue.
Fortunately, lifeguards Kirsty Gifford-Pitcher and Darryl Kelley, of GLL, saw that he was in trouble and leapt to the 35-year-old’s aid, hauling him, unconscious to perform six rounds of CPR on him.
He had suffered hypoxia – lack of oxygen – while swimming underwater.
Manager Vicki Smith and lifeguards Filippo Fusi and Alex Rainsby performed chest pumps and mouth-to-mouth resuscitation until Bray began breathing again. He was rushed to Whittington Hospital in Islington, to be monitored overnight.
Returning to thank his rescuers, he said: “The first thing I knew about what happened was when I heard the sound of loud breathing
“That was me – I had started breathing again.
“The whole experience was very surreal.
“I had stared death in the face.”
Hackney council says the lifeguards’ training includes refresher courses of four hours a month.
The rescued swimmer is now fundraising for the Whittington Hospital. To donate.
Hamish Scott 100415
* Hackney council-supplied pic shows: back row, Alex Rainsby, left, Ed Bray (tallest) and Filippo Fusi; front, Kirsty Gifford-Pitcher, left, Vicki Smith (dark jumper) and Darryl Kelley
* Backstory: After the London Fields party
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