Hero soldier and teen girls save two boys from drowning in dramatic sea rescue near Blackpool Central pier

The boys, aged 12 and 14, were rushed to hospital following the incident – one of them in a critical condition

A hero soldier and two teenage girls sprung to action to come to the rescue of boys who got into difficulty in the sea at Blackpool.

The youngsters were taken to hospital after getting into difficulty in the water close to Central Pier shortly before 6pm on July 18. Private Michael Bunning, 19, is new to the armed forces and had only joined a few months before he spotted the boys in trouble.

After they were dragged to the shore by a brave teenagers, the Private used his training to give CPR to the two boys – aged 12 and 14. Private Bunning, a driver with 3 Medical Regiment based in Preston, said: “My partner spotted them being rescued and we ran over. At first, I was only aware of the younger boy.

“It was then that I was made aware of the other boy, so I put the first in the recovery position and started working on the other.”

Private Bunning, originally from Grantham, Lincolnshire, kept up the CPR until paramedics arrived, five minutes after receiving the call. The boy started breathing again a few minutes later.

He said: “It was stressful, but my training just kicked in. It’s amazing the training we get, and we are constantly refreshing. I couldn’t have done it without that.”

The 14-year-old’s condition remains critical but stable at Alder Hay Children’s Hospital in Liverpool. The 12-year-old is described as poorly but not critical after being taken to Blackpool Victoria Hospital.

A North West Ambulance Service spokesman said: “We commend Private Bunning’s actions for providing immediate care for the boys. In situations like this, every minute matters, and it sounds like his intervention was crucial on this occasion.

“We would encourage everyone to learn CPR and other first-aid skills as you never know if you might need to provide life-saving treatment to a family member, friend or even a stranger in an emergency.”

Police have now pleaded with people to take care in the water, especially if you’re not a strong swimmer. Superintendent Chris Hardy, of Blackpool Police, said: “This incident once again shows, all too clearly, the dangers that open water can present.

“I have no doubt that if it hadn’t been for the brave and swift actions of the two girls who pulled the boys from the water, and Private Bunning, who gave CPR alongside nearby security staff, we would have been dealing with at least one fatality.

“I wish to commend the response of those involved whose heroic actions helped prevent what could have been a far worse and tragic outcome.”

Ambulance, Air Ambulance, fire crews, police and lifeguards were all called to the scene just before 6pm on Monday.

  • 11:57, 27 JUL 2022
  • UPDATED14:44, 27 JUL 2022

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