Four young ladies became forever friends when two teens heroically saved the lives of two 11-year-olds who nearly drowned at Angels Beach in Ballina, New South Wales.
The beach was unpatrolled, and daylight was fading when a woman, frantic with fear, approached Bella Broadley and Elyse Partridge, now 19 and 20, respectively. The girls were picnicking with friends at the time. According to Bella, the terrified mom said, "I can’t swim, and my girls are drowning."
RELATED: Frantic Mom Screams For Help And Teen Jumps In To Save Baby By Performing CPR
And that's when the two immediately jumped into action!
Teens Save Mom’s Daughters From Drowning
Bella grabbed an esky lid. ("Esky" is a term used in Australia to refer to a portable cooler or ice box.) With the cooler lid as a flotation device, Bella, followed by Elyse, rushed into the rough waters to help Violet and Chloe. The younger girls had become trapped in a riptide and were struggling against the strong waves.
Bravery medals for women who raced into ‘rough, crazy’ surf to save drowning girls https://t.co/XVNrlKz7Ms
- ABC News (@abcnews) March 22, 2023
As the teens raced to save the girls, Bella recognized the danger of the situation once in the ocean. She later stated, "But luckily, I had the esky lid for part of the way to keep my head above the water, and once I got to Violet, I just swam for my life."
Bella handed the esky to Chloe, and Elyse then helped Chloe get to shore. However, the two were bruised and beaten up when they crashed into the rocks as they made their way out of the water. It was a terrifying experience!
Witnesses and police officers are certain that Chloe and Violet would not have survived if the two teens didn’t save them. The struggle to keep their heads above water left Violet and Chloe physically exhausted, and they swallowed a lot of saltwater in the process. Violet was admitted to the hospital overnight, but both were saved.
Daring Rescue Creates A Special Bond
Looking back, Elyse and Bella wouldn’t do anything differently. Elyse said, "I was quite happy that we ended up doing it because I kept just thinking about what could’ve happened if we hadn’t gone in."
RELATED: Teens Pray & Give CPR to Friend's Lifeless Body Pulled from Oconee River: ‘God Was on Our Side'
And Bella will always feel a bond with Violet and Chloe. "I see those girls out and about in the town, and I just get a bit emotional sometimes," Bella said.
While the near-drowning event took place in January 2021, Bella and Elyse were, in March 2023, named on the Governor General's Australian Bravery Decorations Honours List. The list recognized 66 Australians for acts of bravery!
Erin Danks, Violet's mother, nominated the brave ladies for the award, and the younger girls submitted statements about what happened on that memorable day.
Even as accomplished swimmers, the trauma from the day still lingers with both Bella and Elyse. They encourage others to exercise caution, perhaps more aware of the drowning dangers that exist. There were 28 drowning deaths in New South Wales during the 2022-2023 summer season. Nine percent of those were deaths of those trying to save others.
Ms. Danks wonders if Bella and Elyse knew just how deadly the riptide was on that day, stating, "I’m not sure if they knew at the time how bad the rip was ... we’re just lucky as a community that we did not lose four lives."
YOU MAY ALSO LIKE: Pregnant Mom Hears Screams From Lake And Then Scared Girl Tells Her ‘I'm Going To Die'
But Jesus spoke to them at once. "Don't be afraid," he said. "Take courage. I am here!" Matthew 14:27
LISTEN: Texting The Wrong Number Caused 2 Strangers To Fall In Love | Pastor Prays For 4 Armed Men In Church
h/t: ABC News
Featured Image Credit: Twitter/ABC News