Capetonian lifeguard Tanner Gorille was awarded a prestigious Russell Medal issued by Queen Elizabeth II.
The Russell Medal is a royal award presented annually for “the most outstanding resuscitation or attempted resuscitation performed during the previous calendar year by a person under 18 years of age,” as per RLSS.The award was bestowed upon Tanner this year in a virtual conference by Queen Elizabeth herself!
However, the actual award was issued back in 2016, which is when Tanner’s heroic action took place.
On Friday 16 of December in 2016, 17 year old young buck Tanner was ‘simply’ doing his life guard duties at Camps Bay’s tidal pool. He was a LSA (Lifesaving SA) trained lifeguard, which is affiliated to RLSS, also known as the Royal Life Saving Society.
Upon duty, Tanner became aware of a group of women screaming on the pool’s opposite end according to RLSS, and without hesitation dived in and swam across the 20m pool where he discovered a young woman. She was face down in the water and foaming at the mouth too.
He opened up her airway to clear the foam whilst simultaneously rushing her out of the water.Tanner proceeded to put his training into action and checked her vitals before performing a few cycles of CPR.
The young woman began to show life, and Tanner monitored her until paramedics arrived to the scene.
The young women went to hospital and made a full recovery, which was the result of Tanner’s quick action and careful resuscitation.
Where is Tanner now?
Tanner is now 22 and the vice captain at the DHL Clifton Surf Lifesaving Club. And of course he recently was honoured with the royal award by the Queen herself. Of the virtual conference that took place this year where the medal was bestowed upon him, he described the experience, and “opportunity of being in the company of royalty” as humbling, as per IOL.
We as South Africans, and of course as Capetonians, are beyond proud of one of our own!