A SCHOOLGIRL from Bolton is being hailed a hero after she helped save two youngsters from drowning while on holiday in Thailand.
Nine-year-old Lakeisha Saynam Nealon swam to the rescue of a little girl, aged around four, whose armbands had slipped off, the day after she arrived in the resort of Pattaya.
Lakeisha was staying at the Sutus Court Hotel with her dad Ian and mum Sumran when the drama unfolded on July 19.
She managed to drag the girl to safety despite being pulled under the water by the panicking youngster.
And just a few days later the keen swimmer went to the rescue of another little girl when the family moved on to Beung Khan to see relatives.
Mr Nealon saw a young girl stumble over the barrier by the pool at The One Hotel, but by the time he had dived in, his daughter had reached her and managed to pull her to safety.
Lakeisha said: “The first girl was dragging me down because she was scared and I managed to get her up and the second girl was scratching and kicking because she did not know what was going on. I managed to get her to the barrier.
“I was a bit scared at first but I know I am a good swimmer.”
Lakeisha, who has swimming lessons at Bolton One in Bolton, said: “It is really important for children to learn to swim and I want to go on to get my lifesavers.
“I really enjoy swimming.”
Thanks to her quick thinking both girls are fine.
After her bravery the youngster was treated by her family to a visit to the fairground.
Father Ian, aged 48, of Little Lever, said: “We are so proud of her.
“She did not panic and stayed calm throughout even when she was being dragged under.
“The girl who lost her armbands went down like a lead balloon and Lakeisha went down to get her.
“Her father, who was Norwegian, came to me afterwards and said she was brilliant – she saved his daughter’s life.
“Lakeisha was amazing. She is a very confident swimmer – she will either go on to be a lifeguard or a swimmer. We cannot get her out of the water.”
Her family back in Little Lever are just as proud of her.
Grandmother Maureen Nealon said: “We are tremendously proud of her achievements and she deserves recognition.
“To save two children is unbelievable.” – Bolton News