Guardian angel: UAE lifeguard honoured for saving toddler

Angel Nakabiito came to the aid of a boy, 2, after he stopped breathing

Lifeguard Angel Nakabiito resuscitated a two-year-old boy in a hotel pool in Fujairah. Courtesy: Mirage Hotel Fujairah
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A quick-thinking lifeguard at a Fujairah hotel was honoured after she resuscitated a two-year-old boy and saved his life.

The family of the boy were guests at the Mirage Hotel Fujairah and were by the pool when the incident took place recently.

Recalling the accident, Angel Nakabiito said she knew exactly what to do to save the child, as she had been recently trained by Blue Guard Middle East, a Dubai consultancy specialising in water safety training.

“I saw that a toddler had drowned from consuming pool water, and my first reaction was to perform CPR," said the 28-year-old from Uganda, who has worked in the UAE since 2019.

"I followed protocol, gave him five initial breaths and thankfully was able to resuscitate him.

"My training is still fresh, so I was able to perform this perfectly," said Ms Nakabiito.

"I’m extremely happy and proud of myself, because I saved a life!”

The importance of life-saving training

Lifeguard Angel Nakabiito had recently trained with Blue Guard Middle East, a Dubai-based consultancy specialising in water safety training. Courtesy, Mirage Hotel Fujairah

In recognition of her achievement, Ms Nakabiito was awarded a certificate of appreciation from the Ministry of Interior, a letter of recognition from the Mirage Hotel in Fujairah, and lifetime of Lifeguard refresher training and licence renewals from Blue Guard ME.

Her employers said they were proud of Ms Nakabiito's rapid reaction.

“Thanks to the continuous training of our lifeguards, the child’s life was saved," said Waleed Sotouhi, executive assistant manager at Mirage Hotels Group.

"It is really important to keep investing in training and we will continue strong training for the entire department, especially our lifeguards.”

Most UAE beaches and hotel pools have trained personnel protecting swimmers, but not all community pools are guarded.

This incident showed the importance of lifeguards, said Luke Cunningham, the founder and managing director of Blue Guard Middle East.

“This is exactly why we train lifeguards, to prevent incidents from becoming fatal accidents."

"Our vision is to make everyone a life saver and build safer communities.

"We have trained more than four thousand people in life-saving skills over the past 4 years, and we are proud that a lifeguard trained by us was able to save a toddler’s life.”