Hero cop Dave Sutton dives in to save girl trapped in hotel pool
A police sergeant has been hailed a hero after saving the life of a young girl while on holiday in Croatia.
Sergeant Dave Sutton, from Croydon, was with his wife in Dubrovnik, when the dramatic rescue happened on August 6.
The 56-year-old who has been a police officer for 35-years, was in the hotel pool when he was alerted to the fact a little girl who was seen playing in the water with her brother nearby, had disappeared.
When Sgt Sutton dived under the water he could see the girl, 8, motionless at the bottom of the pool.
He said: "It was obvious straight away not all was as it should be. I grabbed her leg but she didn't move, there was no response whatsoever, I knew then she was in trouble."
Sgt Sutton came back to the surface and shouted for help before back diving under to try and grab the girl for a second time, when he realised her head was stuck between a ledge at the bottom of the pool.
He said: "Her mouth was open and her eyes were open a bit but were glazed. I tried to pull her shoulder and put my hand round the back of her neck to pull her out and that's when I realised her hair was stuck in the pools' suction valve."
Helped by a member of hotel staff, Sgt Sutton was given a pair of scissors which he used to cut the girl free before bringing her to the surface and performing CPR until the ambulance arrived.
He said: "Cutting her hair under water was so hard, it was hard to stay down. When we brought her up she was totally blue, there was no pulse and she wasn't breathing."
In the middle of CPR the man helping Sgt Sutton stopped compressions, but the policeman who lives in Kent insisted they continued until paramedics arrived.
The girl was airlifted to hospital where she was put in an induced coma, but it was not until Sgt Sutton returned from holiday and received an email and picture from the girl's father, that he discovered she made a miraculous recovery.
The email identified the girl as Delfina Alberdi who was on a family holiday from Norway.
Her father Fernando praised Sgt Sutton's actions calling him "an angel," adding "There isn't any way to thank you [for] what you have done."
Sgt Sutton has been put forward for a police commendation and nominated for Croydon Champions Act of Bravery Award.
Asked what he thought about being called a hero, he said: "I think it is a misuse of the word, I was just doing the job to the best of my ability.
"The only thing I did that was a bit out of the ordinary was actually getting her out of the pool, once she was out of the water is was like being in my comfort zone.
"If the girl has anyone to thank it is the Met police training, I just put into practice what I was taught."
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