UPDATE: Social media hails Kyle as a teenage hero

‘PRETTY SCARY’: Kyle Rhodes, 16, of Goonellabah, saved a girl’s life at Goonellabah Sports and Aquatic Centre when she was found at the bottom of the pool.
‘PRETTY SCARY’: Kyle Rhodes, 16, of Goonellabah, saved a girl’s life at Goonellabah Sports and Aquatic Centre when she was found at the bottom of the pool. Marc Stapelberg


WE ALL love a good news and inspiring rescue story and nowhere can you see this more than social media.

Since we posted the story of Kyle Rhodes' heroic action - when he saved a little girl from drowning  at 7am this morning, it has been shared from The Northern Star's Facebook page 93 times with over 23k views.

There were also plenty of great comments:

Jenny Fields simply wrote "HERO".

Al Technyne gave a cyber pat on the back with "What a good kid! Well done buddy".

Sheree Garrett gave a row of thumbs up and added "Great story. Nice work Kyle".

Rebecca Heywood wrote a longer tribute: "Good work Kyle you didn't hesitate to help someone...Your quick thinking saved this little girl!"

Sue Mac also gave a tribute to Kyle's nephew who first pointed out that the little girl hadn't resurfaced.

As inevitably happens with incidences dealing with young children, a couple of people asked where the parents were at the time the little girl went underwater.

Crissy Bienke defended the parents by posting "Before we judge, we need to take into consideration that the parent may have been there on their own with numerous kids and possibly tending to another child. Don't judge, as this could happen to someone you love."

Gillian Martyr raised the point that children should not be dumped at the pool with the expectation the lifeguards will keep an eye on them.

INITIAL: A GOONELLABAH teen who plucked an unconscious child from the bottom of the local pool has been hailed as a hero.

The four-year-old girl would have likely drowned seconds later if not for Kyle Rhodes' quick action

Kyle, 16, was swimming with his niece and nephew at the Goonellabah Sports and Aquatic Centre on Friday January 29 when the incident unfolded.

He was standing in the recreation pool there popular with young children in water up to his chest, when his nephew told him a nearby girl had not resurfaced.

"I'd just walked into the pool, and I walked around to my nephew, and thirty seconds after, my nephew told me 'uncle, she's still under, she's still under'," he said.

He instantly dived under to retrieve the girl from the bottom.

Lifeguards on duty at the centre assisted seconds later and commenced resuscitation on the side of the pool.

"They just put her on her side, did CPR, and they revived her," Kyle said.

It was all over in a few minutes, but those agonisingly slow moments before the girl came back from the brink that were quite traumatising for the teen.

"It was pretty scary," he confessed.

"If she had have been there any longer, who knows what would have happened.

"When I saw her to be honest… I thought she was going to die… but when they revived her I was pretty stoked."

The lifeguard shook Kyle's hand and said the boy's quick action saved her life.

Since the incident Kyle has received congratulatory letters from Lismore mayor Jenny Dowell, and his school, Southern Cross K-12 Distance Education. He was also offered counselling for shock if needed.

His proud father Glenn said Kyle's effort was also an opportunity to celebrate a positive achievement by a member of the local Aboriginal community.

"There's so much negativity towards indigenous youth in Goonellabah and this is a positive for the community and Kyle himself," Mr Rhodes said.

"That quick thinking saved the girl's life.

"He's done something positive for the community which is really important to us. To us he's a hero. He's a hero to his friends and his community."

Topics:  drowning editors picks goonellabah sports and aquatic centre hero rescue

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