A 20-year-old Filipina and her 13-year-old brother were presented with Community Lifesaver Awards by the Singapore Civil Defence Force on Saturday for their heroism in saving a 16-year-old Malaysian boy from drowning on Christmas day.

At 6pm on December 25, while the Cordova family were playing Scrabble at home on the 10th floor at the Marymount View condominium, they heard a cry for help, the Lianhe Zaobao (Singapore) reported.

Looking down from their window, the siblings’ mother Laureen saw a boy struggling alone in the swimming pool. Her husband Jun rushed downstairs with their children Mikkaela, 20, and her brother Joshua, 13.

Mikkaela volunteered to jump into the water to try and save the 1.7-meter-tall teenage boy, who by then was lying face down at the bottom of the 2.4-meter-deep pool. As she did so, her father ran to the guardhouse to report the incident and seek help.

Seeing that his sister was unable to rescue the young man on her own, Joshua jumped in to help. The pair managed to drag the victim out of the water, by which time he was unconscious and his skin was blue.

Mikkaela, who had learned life-saving techniques while studying at a polytechnic in Canada, performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) on the victim until he regained consciousness. An ambulance then arrived and took him to Tan Tock Seng Hospital.

Colonel Lim Boon Hwee, Commander of the first SCDF Division, presented the awards to the siblings on January 5. He expressed appreciation of how Mikkaela and Joshua had the calmness, composure and courage required to pull the 16-year-old victim out of the pool and to perform the CPR that helped save his life.