Teen heroes: Montreal girls save drowning couple in Barbados
Two teenage girls from Montreal, Zoe Ireland-Meklensek, 13, and Emma Bassermann, 14, became heroes on Wednesday, January 3, on a Barbados beach. While bodyboarding, they heard a call for help from a drowning woman. Zoe, using her Boogie Board, swiftly responded by rescuing both the woman and her husband, who was struggling farther out in the water.
Zoe, trained in swimming and bodyboarding, skillfully used her board to tow the man ashore, employing a technique of swimming parallel to the beach to escape strong currents. Emma supported her throughout the ordeal. The British couple, in their 60s, expressed immense gratitude after being brought safely to shore.
Emma is in Barbados for a swimming training camp, preparing for Olympic trials, under the guidance of Zoe's father, who is the national development coach at the Dorval Swim Club. Both girls are active members of the swim club.
Following their courageous act, the teenagers were interviewed by local media and honoured by Barbados authorities, receiving gift bags in recognition of their bravery. Zoe emphasized that helping someone in danger is a natural human response.
Back in Montreal, Emma's mother, Tara White, expressed her pride in her daughter's composure and bravery, noting the importance of being aware of riptides and ocean safety. The Dorval Swim Club, where both girls train, acknowledged their remarkable act, underlining the unpredictability of beach swimming and the risks involved in rescuing drowning victims. The club praised the girls for their calm and effective response in a dangerous situation.
Photo caption: Zoe Ireland-Meklensek and Emma Bassermann, teenage swimmers from Montreal, who heroically rescued a British couple from strong currents while bodyboarding in Barbados.
Photo credit: Courtesy