3 days ago, I was finally tested on my skills of lifesaving.
I had changed duty slots with Chin Teng, and then changed positions on high chair with Hong En, so there I was on the pool deck.
Just a short time later, I can see those two big-sized Middle-Easterners creating quite a splash some distance away. I can see the bigger of the two struggling and actually pushing his friend down. That bulky guy is drowning.
I did what I could think of first, grabbed a kickboard and went down into the water. I pushed the kickboard to the drowning guy, but he was too busy pushing his friend down and trying to stay afloat that me doing so could be as significant as making hand signals at him.
Seeing that my kickboard plan failed, I did the next best thing I thought then. I went forward, and tried to get him out onto the surface, his whole head was already submerged in the water. He was so huge, that I could only get him out for a max of 3 seconds, then HE PUSHED ME DOWN WITH HIM. I must admit, I was pretty darn terrified. Next thing I know, I was down the water and feeling my eyes getting blurry as I wear contact lenses.
Did my best to pull him to the side of the pool and just as I was about to reach the side, luckily Cau Cieh took hold of the guy and gave him a final pull to the side.
I am so glad nothing worse took place, to me I mean. Anyway I learnt two things. Have done the kickboard maneouveur thing, and two times out of two times the victim was not able to catch hold of the board. Next time I swear, I'm not going in without something as solid as a pool buoy. Second, this is what I learn in the first case, never do plunge in, it will actually confuse your coordinate. That one time I did that, as I resurfaced, I had to search back where the victim was. I would suggest straddle jump as a better alternative.
I don't know why some lifeguards take pool duty so leniently. We deal with lives, and some of them are very much not alert on the pool deck.
As much as I blame myself for my mistakes, knowing that I could have done much better, I had to give myself a pat on the back, that I managed to save someone triple my size. Later on, looking very shaken, he thanked me. Oh, I was real modest about it, told him, "No problem, it's our job :)".