It was the first time the defibillator installed at Albert Avenue baths had been used in 15 years. But the staff’s rapid response saved George Huggins’ life when he suffered a heart attack in the pool in July.
He came to later in Hull Royal Infirmary to a paramedic, saying : “You are back with us, George.”
Mr Huggins was at the Guildhall to see certificates, including Royal Life Saving Society UK awards, awarded to lifeguards Kelly Whitehurst and Macauley Hyde, along with manager Kevin Caselton.
The keen swimmer had done six lengths and was about to do more when his head started spinning. “I managed to get under the rope to the side of the pool to get my arms in the overflow to keep myself up. The last thing I remember was half turning to get the attention of the lifeguard on the rostrum.
"I don’t remember anything after that.
“The paramedics told me the lifeguards and the other swimmers who got me out did a marvellous job. There was basically nothing for him and his co driver to do.”
Mr Huggins, who is looking forward to returning to swimming, having had two stents and mini defibrillators implanted in his heart, said: “I want to thank them for giving me another chance.
"They did an admirable job and I can't praise them enough.
"I thought they needed some form of recognition and to make people aware of what facilities there are in pool, and the defibrillators there - I have my own now!”
Ms Whitehurst has formed a close bond with Mr Huggins, one of the pool’s regular users.
She said she would never forget what happened: “We all pulled together like one big community and that is something that will definitely stay with me forever.”