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Perth girl hailed a hero for rescuing toddler who fell into a pool

Little Phoebe Van Niel is being hailed a hero.

The seven-year-old girl from Perth is being praised for her quick thinking, which saved a two-year-old toddler who had accidentally fallen into a pool at a hotel in Broome.

“She jumped into the big pool with no floaties… well, she slipped in,” Phoebe told 9News.

Seven-year-old Phoebe Van Niel from Perth is being hailed a hero for her quick-thinking which saved a two-year-old toddler, who had accidentally fallen into a pool at a hotel in Broome. (9News)

The year 2 student on a family holiday had no hesitation to race to the rescue.

“She could of drowned and I didn’t want that happening,” she said.

It was a split second move, one that even shocked her mother.

“Initially there was a lot of panic,” Renae Van Niel told 9News.

Seven-year-old Phoebe Van Niel from Perth is being hailed a hero for her quick-thinking which saved a two-year-old toddler, who had accidentally fallen into a pool at a hotel in Broome.
The Year 2 student, who was on a family holiday, had no hesitation to race to the rescue. (9News)
Seven-year-old Phoebe Van Niel from Perth is being hailed a hero for her quick-thinking which saved a two-year-old toddler, who had accidentally fallen into a pool at a hotel in Broome.
Phoebe’s mum Renae Van Niel is now encouraging all families to teach their young children the life saving skill. (9News)

“But as soon as they sort of saw that, Phoebe had her out of the water and was swimming to the edge.

“Everyone was able to sort of relax a little bit knowing that she was going to be okay.”

As the toddler was pulled to safety, she too was shaken and crying.

Years of swimming lessons in a south Perth pool more than 2000 kilometres away from Broome paid off for the seven-year-old hero.

Seven-year-old Phoebe Van Niel from Perth is being hailed a hero for her quick-thinking which saved a two-year-old toddler, who had accidentally fallen into a pool at a hotel in Broome.
Years of swimming lessons in a south Perth pool more than 2000 kilometres away from Broome paid off for this seven-year-old hero (9News)

Phoebe’s parents are encouraging all families to teach their young children the life saving skill.

“This is why it’s so important to go and learn to be a strong swimmer,” Renae said.

Phoebe now dreams of becoming a surf life saver.

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