RNLI's actions prevent champion water-skier from being paralysed after 47mph accident
PUBLISHED: 09:00 01 October 2016
A teenage water-skier who hit a difficult wave and somersaulted in the air on Weston-super-Mare's beach has met the RNLI crew who may have prevented her from becoming paralysed for life.
Champion water-skier Amelia, aged 14, was seriously hurt on August 27 when she was travelling at around 47 miles per hour and cartwheeled several times in the water.
Volunteer lifeboat crews were quickly into the water to rescue her, before putting Amelia on a stretcher and using the ski boat to carry her to shore.
The coastguard took her to hospital in Bristol where the teenager was diagnosed with spinal concussion.
It meant she had to be tied to a bed for five days so she did not move her spine.
Amelia was also unable to move her legs and was in a lot of pain.
She still has numbness in her legs, poor co-ordination and problems with her balance, but she is expected to make a full recovery.
The RNLI crew’s first aid knowledge may have prevented Amelia from a much more serious injury.
Amelia said: “I will always be grateful to the lifeboatmen of Weston.
“If they had not responded as quickly as they did and if they had not known how to treat me I would probably have been permanently paralysed.”
Amelia is a national standard water-skier, and despite missing several races because of her accident, she still came second overall in her water-skiing class.
She has been told she should recover from the accident, and she is intending to return to water-skiing next year if she is well enough.
She met the RNLI crew at the weekend, after they rescued a wind-surfer.
Lifeboat operations manager Charlotte Conroy said: “We are delighted Amelia is doing so well and also very grateful she has taken the time to come and see us.
“Too few of those we rescue bother to do that. It means a lot to our volunteers that their efforts are acknowledged.”