IF IT hadn’t been for her friends and a group of lifeguards, 14-year-old Bobbie-Ann Masterton doesn’t think she’d be around today.
The Southsea girl was playing in the waves on the beach when she had an epileptic fit and collapsed in the water last Tuesday about 7.20pm.
Seeing she was in trouble, Bobbie-Ann’s friends pulled her out of the water and the lifeguards gave first aid until paramedics arrived.
She returned to the beach yesterday to thank her saviours.
Bobbie-Ann said: ‘I’d just like to say thank you for everything.
‘I think they saved my life.’
Bobbie-Ann said she could not remember much of what happened.
She said: ‘We were in the shallow end of the sea, and the next thing I knew I got all dizzy and fell into the sea and banged my head on a rock.’
Friend, Reece Murphy, 14, helped pull her out of the water and the lifeguards were fetched.
She said: ‘I was going in and out of consciousness and then my back and neck hurt.
‘They got a neck brace on me and a spinal board.
‘At that point I was close to the shore and the tide was coming in, so they pulled me away so I wouldn’t go under.
‘I went unconscious again, and then that’s when they realised my breathing was getting bad and they put oxygen on me.’
An ambulance then took Bobbie to Queen Alexandra Hospital, where medics said the mishap was due to a combination of heatstroke and epileptic fit.
Bobbie-Ann said that although she had only had one epileptic fit before, there was a history of the condition in her family.
Lifeguard supervisor Rogan Wheeldon said it was lucky the team of 11 lifeguards were around to save Bobbie-Ann.
He said: ‘We were technically off-duty but we were down there doing spinal training.
‘It’s much appreciated that she’s come down to show her appreciation.’
Mr Wheeldon said the lifeguards were on Southsea beach to watch over swimmers and talk to people about safety every day during summer from 10am to 6pm.
He said that if anyone got into trouble on the beach outside these hours, they should call the Coastguard on 999.