A QUICK-THINKING Widnes student saved the life of a little American girl after pulling her from the bottom of a hotel swimming pool during a sports tour of Barbados.
Footballer Simon Smith, 17, was relaxing in the sun with friends when the drama unfolded.
He said: 'We were in the pool messing around and a girl who looked about four or five was sat on the side. She must have fallen into the water. She was bobbing up and down and at first I thought she was just messing around.
'Then she sank to the bottom of the pool so I jumped in and pulled her out. She didn't move for a couple of seconds, but then started crying.'
Simon's life-saving actions were praised by PE teacher Chris Ratcliffe who accompanied the group of footballers and netball players from Runcorn and Widnes Sixth Form College on their tour of Barbados.
Mr Ratcliffe said: 'Fortunately because of Simon's quick thinking no permanent damage was done and the young girl and her family were just shaken up.'
The 32-strong Barbados 2006 tour group visited the south of the island playing football and netball fixtures against local schools and clubs.
Despite his poolside heroics Simon, of Beaconsfield Crescent, enjoyed the trip.
'The tour was brilliant. They were great teams to play against and there was a really good atmosphere.'
As well as competing, the students and staff sailed in the Caribbean on a catamaran, swam with turtles, snorkelled and played golf.
Simon will today pick up his AS level results in PE, business and media before going to Plymouth in September to begin his naval training aboard HMS Raleigh.