When a stranger saves your life…
A flight attendant rescued a victim of human trafficking after she spotted the girl looking “dishevelled” on a plane accompanied by a well-dressed man.
Sheila Frederick, 49, was working on an Alaska Airlines flight from Seattle to San Francisco when she noticed the girl, who looked around 14 or 15 years old, and immediately knew something was wrong, according to 10 News.
“Something in the back of my mind said something was not right. He was well-dressed. That’s what got me because I thought why is he well-dressed and she is looking all dishevelled and out of sorts?” Frederick told the program.
When she tried to speak with the two passengers, the man reportedly became defensive and the girl wouldn’t engage in conversation.
“Something in the back of my mind said something is not right,” Frederick told WTSP. Frederick’s instincts kicked in, prompting her to slyly tell the passenger “under her breath” to visit the restroom. Frederick had left a note on the restroom mirror and received a troubling response. “She wrote on the note she needed help,” Frederick said.
After local authorities were alerted, the truth became clear: Frederick had saved the young girl, who was “14 or 15 years old” at the time, from being a victim of human trafficking. Frederick and the teen, who’s currently attending college, have talked “a few times” since that fateful day in 2011.
Making sure these instincts are an industry-wide trait is the focus of Airline Ambassadors, founded by former flight attendant Nancy Rivard. Speaking with NBC News this weekend, Rivard and others revealed the most difficult aspect of training was simply learning to let go once the authorities get involved.
“One part of our training, and it’s the difficult part, but once we report it, we’re supposed to let it go,” Andrea Hobart, Airline Ambassador trainer and Alaska Airlines flight attendant, told NBC News. “Even though it’s hard to let it go, you transfer it into the hands of the authorities and they’ll pursue the case.”