An eight-year-old Durham schoolgirl has been called a hero after she saved her 83-year-old grandad from drowning at a local swimming bath last week.

Popsie Simmons, from Witton Gilbert in County Durham, has been called a hero after she saved her grandad, Ken Simmons, from drowning at Stanley Swimming Baths on July 5.

The eight-year-old quickly stepped into action after her grandad, who recently had a stroke, got into difficulties in the deep end of the pool.

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The Northern Echo: Popsie Simmons, with he grandad Ken Simmons.

Mum Claire Simmons has since recounted the afternoon, telling The Northern Echo she is “extremely proud” of her brave young daughter.

“I was at work and my father, who will be 84 in a matter of weeks, took Popsie swimming. He was swimming in the deep end and got into difficulty, losing control of his arms and legs”, she said.

“Popsie then saw that her grandad was struggling for breath and grabbed him underneath the arms and pulled him to the side where the lifeguard pulled him out of the pool.”

Claire also revealed that when Popsie was questioned on how she managed to save Ken’s life, she said that she would “never let anything happen” to her grandad.

Described by her mum as a “gem”, Popsie is also said to have dreams of becoming a doctor one day.

Following her inspirational actions, mum Claire has urged parents to teach their children water safety to help save their own lives and others.

The Northern Echo: Popsie Simmons, with he grandad Ken Simmons.

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Claire said: “She has been swimming since she was young, we took her to the water babies classes. I just think it is so important that kids know how to swim and are comfortable like she was yesterday to save someone else.

“I let her school know about what happened, as there are swimming groups in her year who are afraid of the water and do not enjoy swimming.

“After what Popsie did, her teacher told the group that her actions saved an adult’s life, and the class were in awe. They couldn’t believe what they were hearing.

“Now, it has inspired them to think that if Popsie can do it, so can I.”