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Schoolgirl recalls 'horrifying' moment she tried to save boys from frozen Solihull lake

Schoolgirl recalls 'horrifying' moment she tried to save boys from frozen Solihull lake

"I was willing to give up anything just at least to save one of them"

A schoolgirl has recalled the 'horrifying' moment she tried to save the boys who tragically died after falling in Solihull lake.

People across the UK are in mourning following the news that three boys, aged eight, 10 and 11, lost their lives after plummeting through ice while playing at Babbs Mill Park in Solihull, West Midlands.

Oliwia Szewc was meeting a friend nearby when the incident unfolded on Sunday (11 December).

Speaking to ITV News Central about the ordeal, the 13-year-old said: "I saw two boys in the water, I couldn't see the rest of them. I'm guessing most of them already fell into the lake.

Oliwia Szewc recalled the moment she bravely attempted to save the three boys.

"I was just shocked and panicked because I didn't know what I could do. Me and my friend have never really been in a situation like that before."

After hearing another bystander claim the kids couldn't swim, Oliwia decided to bravely take matters into her own hands as her friend rang the emergency services.

"I was just trying to find branches of trees and try to pass to them but they were all too short," she continued.

"I was just trying my best to think of different ways to at least help them or do anything for them to float on the surface of the water so they wouldn't drown.

"I was thinking, what would be able to pull them back to the shore? And then I just looked at a tree and I was like, that's it. I should just get a branch.

"I got the branch, but it was too short."

The schoolgirl then saw a man - who she believes was one of the boys' relatives - 'jump into the frozen lake' and 'cut up his legs'.

Police continued to search the lake to see if anyone else fell in.
A Images/Alamy

But despite his efforts, she said police officers 'held him back' as he was 'putting his own life at risk'.

Oliwia also recalls seeing a cop trying to break through ice, while others went to comfort a mother of one of the children 'because she was just kind of in a panic and not knowing how to react'.

When the emergency services arrived, the teen and her friend offered up their coats to wrap around the boys.

"Ambulance workers were asking for jackets and coats to try to bring the boys' temperature back up," she explained.

"I gave my coat, my friend gave her jacket. We were just kind of praying that the boys would be all right.

"I was willing to give up anything just at least to save one of them.

"Knowing that one of them's still in hospital is kind of a relief because I was at least able to help someone."

She continued: "It was just horrifying and I was just clueless because I tried to help but I couldn't, but I tried my best."

The outlet went on to point out that the brave young girl is back at school and being supported by the West Midlands Police, which gave a statement about the shocking incident earlier this week.

It reads: "The boys, aged 11, 10 and eight, were rushed to hospital after being pulled from the water.

"Sadly, they could not be revived and our thoughts are with their family and friends at this deeply devastating time. We’ll have specialist officers offering them as much support as we can.

One of the four boys who fell in survived and remains in critical condition.
Sam Holiday/Alamy Stock Photo

"A fourth boy, aged six, remains in a critical condition in hospital.

"We’ve been working alongside colleagues from the fire and ambulance services as we do all we can to support those involved.

"Searches of the lake are continuing as we seek to establish exactly what happened and if anyone else fell into the water.

"We understand how distressing this is for the families and the wider community.

"We would ask people to not speculate or share any video footage at this stage."

Featured Image Credit: ITV/Sam Holiday/Alamy

Topics: UK News, News