Sunday 20 May 2018

'I was scared but I had to do something' - Heroic girls save young boy (6) from drowning

(L-R) Keisha Moloney and Kirsta Valteris saved a boy's life
(L-R) Keisha Moloney and Kirsta Valteris saved a boy's life

Kathy Armstrong

Two heroic young girls prevented a possible tragedy last month when they bravely rescued a boy from drowning.

Kirsta Valteris (11) dragged the unconscious boy (6) from a muddy quarry, herself and her friend Keisha Moloney (12) then took turns performing CPR before raising the alarm.

Kirsta, who lives in Gortnahowan in Tullow, Co Carlow, explained that the girls were hanging out together at around 4pm on August 30 when they heard screaming from a swampy area at the back of their housing estate.

She told "People approached us asking had we seen three boys and we hadn't but we decided to help look.

"We heard screaming and we ran over and there was a trail to a swamp, through that we could see there were three boys - two of them were near the edge of the water screaming, one of them was crying, the third boy was in the water."

Kirsta has been kayaking for three years and has completed a water safety course, she said she didn't think twice about putting herself at risk to help the boy.

She said: "At first I grabbed a branch and tried to pull him in but he was jut drifting further out, so I took off my shoes and went into the water up to my knees but I still couldn't grab him and I kept wading in but he still wasn't coming closer.

"So then I just had to jump in but when I was swimming over I saw him going fully under the water, the water was way over his head and I was really scared for him but I had to do something so I dived under the water and managed to grab his arm."

Kirsta is a keen kayaker and has completed a water safety course
Kirsta is a keen kayaker and has completed a water safety course

Kirsta, who moved to Carlow from Latvia with her family 12 years ago, said that the boy wasn't responding so the girls had to put their life-saving skills into practice.

She said: "He was unconscious so Keisha and I took it in turns doing CPR, finally he started coughing and saying he couldn't see so we grabbed one of the lad's t-shirts and wiped his eyes with it because they were covered in muck.

"I went back to the estate for help and started knocking on doors to ask if someone could check if he was okay and to bring towels, that was when someone contacted the guards."

Despite his ordeal, thankfully the boy and his two companions weren't seriously injured and Kirsta only sustained scratches.

Sixth class student Kirsta said that they are aged between six and nine year-old and she recognised them from living in an estate nearby.

She said that they went to visit the boy they rescue to check how he was doing and his parents were understandably grateful.

Modest Kirsta said: "We went to his house a couple of days later and he was still feeling sick but he was alright.

"His parents seemed really happy and kept thanking us."

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