A seven-year-old boy has been hailed a hero after he saved the life of a young girl during a swimming lesson.
Quick-thinking Archie Cole splashed to the rescue after he spotted the girl struggling to stay afloat.
Without hesitating Archie dived under the water, pushed the girl to the surface and then helped her to the side of the pool.
The little girl thanked Archie once she was at the pool side and the lifeguards gave him an Easter egg and a certificate to congratulate him for his rescue efforts.
Archie, of Plympton, Devon, said: “I noticed the little girl in front of me was struggling to swim, and it looked like she was sinking.
“I knew I needed to help her, so I dived under the water and tried to get underneath the girl to push her up, so that she didn’t sink.
“I managed to help save her and when I came up from the water, the lifeguards were also in the pool and they helped too.
“I am glad that I helped the lifeguards and that the little girl was okay.”
Archie was at a session at Ivybridge Leisure Centre at the time.
His proud father Will Cole, 33, said: “It’s so humbling.
“I’ve seen him score loads of goals, but this is a different feeling. My wife Jess was really emotional – to do that at seven years old is amazing.”
Before the lifeguards had time to even enter the water, Archie had realised there was a problem and swam over to help.
“The lifeguards then spotted the incident and reacted in line with emergency procedures, and the swimmer was rescued safely,” Will added
Archie’s parents told him how proud they were, but say he was quite embarrassed by the fuss.
“He just said he remembered that sinking feeling when he first learnt to swim and he would do it again,” Will said.
“He’s always been very sporty. He was new to swimming and we got him to these groups about 10 or 11 weeks ago. He started in the lower group initially and he’s worked his way up.
“Me and my partner were watching from the pavilion on the day and we could see what was going on.”
Mum Jessica Cole, 29, added: “It was a very proud moment for us both to see the way Archie spotted the danger and helped someone else.
“Archie has always been a caring child and likes to help others. We are very proud of him, and would like to thank Ivybridge Leisure Centre for recognising his efforts.”