Sunday 25 February 2018

Facebook came to the rescue when a woman got stuck in her swimming pool

When the ladder broke on her pool, Leslie Kahn had no way to get out but managed to summon help online.

Leslie Kahn's pool in New Hampshire. The 61-year-old was stuck in the water after the ladder broke but help came after she posted an appeal on Facebook (Leslie Kahn)
Leslie Kahn's pool in New Hampshire. The 61-year-old was stuck in the water after the ladder broke but help came after she posted an appeal on Facebook (Leslie Kahn)

By Nicola Irwin

A woman who was stuck in her swimming pool after the ladder broke managed to summon help from neighbours via a post on Facebook.

Leslie Kahn had been enjoying a swim in her back garden pool when disaster struck.

As she came to get out, the ladder gave way, leaving her in the water.

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High school French teacher Leslie Kahn. The 61-year-old was stuck in her swimming pool after the ladder broke but help came after she posted an appeal on Facebook (Leslie Kahn)

She said: “I did a bunch of laps, and an aerobic exercise routine that takes about 20 minutes, and just floating around. I went to get out after about an hour, there had been a stress point on a step that I was not aware of near where it was screwed on the frame.

“It broke as I stepped on it to climb out.”

The 61-year-old was home alone when the accident happened and had no idea when her tenants would be back. Her phone was in the house so she could not call for help and no neighbours were in earshot.

Then, after three hours of being in the water, Kahn remembered her iPad was on one of the pool side loungers as she had been planning on reading after her dip.

She managed to pull the chair towards her using a pole and eventually reach the iPad, connect to her WiFi and log on to Facebook.

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Leslie Kahn's pool in New Hampshire. The 61-year-old was stuck in the water after the ladder broke but help came after she posted an appeal on Facebook (Leslie Kahn)

From there she posted a message in the community group Epping Squawks, centred around her hometown of Epping, New Hampshire, and started it “911” to grab people’s attention.

She posted: “911! My pool ladder broke while I was trying to get out of the pool. Home alone, phone is inside. I need someone to bring me tools and help me change the steps so I can get out of the pool. I’m serious. I don’t have the agility to climb out any other way. Hunter Drive.”

Kahn, a high school French teacher on summer break, said: “People started responding right away, about 30 minutes after I posted, a neighbour arrived, who I had met before, though I did not know her well. The police then arrived as well.”

The neighbour was directed inside to get the tools necessary to fix the ladder, while Kahn updated social media to say help had arrived.

She added: “I swim most days and have always loved swimming. It’s good exercise. I also find it’s relaxing to be in the pool.”

She told WUMR: “You get through whatever life throws at you and you ask for help and be prepared to help others. And that’s the way life is supposed to work. That’s the way the community is supposed to work.”

Kahn bought the house in 1989 complete with the pool.

Press Association

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