Zoe Ireland-Meklensek, 13, and Emma Bassermann, 14, were boogie-boarding when they saw a man and woman in their 60s struggling in the water
Zoe Ireland-Meklensek, 13, and Emma Bassermann, 14, rescued a couple in their 60s from a rip current off the shore of Barbados on Jan. 3
One of the Canadian teens was visiting Barbados to prepare for the upcoming Olympic swim trials
The teens received a gift of appreciation from a local politician as thanks for their efforts
Two Canadian teenagers are being hailed as heroes for saving a London couple who got caught in a riptide while vacationing in Barbados.
Zoe Ireland-Meklensek, 13, and her friend Emma Bassermann, 14, were boogie-boarding near the shore on Jan. 3 when Zoe spotted the couple struggling in the water, according to CBC and The Washington Post.
Belinda and Robert Stone had gotten caught in a rip current, which was pulling them out to sea. Belinda, 64, was first to make contact with the girls.
“She said her husband was further out, and he was struggling to swim,” Zoe told the Washington Post. “I told her to hold on tight, and I strapped the boogie board tether to my wrist.”
The girls successfully brought Belinda back to shore. They then raced back into the water to find Robert, 68, per the reports. By the time they reached him, Emma, who was in Barbados to prepare for Olympic swim trials, said the man was gasping for air and struggling to talk.
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“We weren't really thinking much except to get them to safety as fast as we could but I will say, well, I was pretty scared and worried about their safety and our own,” Zoe told CBC.
The Stones thanked the girls for their heroics.
“I do not think that there are many girls like Zoe and Emma,” Belinda, who lives with her husband in London, told the Washington Post. “I just cannot get over how serene and poised they both were.”
Zoe and Emma have received local recognition for their efforts, as well, including a gift of appreciation from a local politician, according to CTV.
The girls are happy to have been at the right place at the right time, as well as having the skills necessary to pull off the rescue. Speaking with the outlet, Emma said, "If either of us were any weaker swimmers, it could have been a lot more disastrous for all of us."
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