Brav­ery award for teen who saved grand­fa­ther

The Oban Times - - News - LOUISE GLEN lglen@oban­

A TEENAGER, who saved his grand­fa­ther’s life af­ter he fell off a boat, has been awarded the Chief Coast­guard’s com­men­da­tion.

An­drew Pa­ton, 13, told HM Coast­guard that his grand­fa­ther Sandy Malcolm, aged 82, had gone over­board from their boat in Lower Loch Fyne.

The in­ci­dent hap­pened be­tween Tar­bert and Por­tavadie on Septem­ber 5 this year.

An­drew re­ported calmly and con­cisely to the coast­guard that his grand­fa­ther – who has a heart con­di­tion – had fallen from the boat but could not get back on board.

The teenager had man­aged to get a line to Mr Malcolm and was hold­ing onto one end of the rope while mak­ing the 999 call from the boat.

A May­day re­lay call was made by the coast­guard and boats in the area were able to track down An­drew be­cause he had given a clear and con­cise po­si­tion.

As he saw the other craft ap­proach­ing, he sounded a horn to help fur­ther iden­tify his lo­ca­tion.

Mr Malcolm was res­cued from the wa­ter and taken by the as­sist­ing ves­sel to Tar­bert, from where he was air­lifted to hospi­tal by res­cue he­li­copter. He has since made a full re­cov­ery.

At the week­end An­drew was pre­sented with a spe­cial cer­tifi­cate of com­men­da­tion for his ac­tions at a cer­e­mony held at Troon RNLI.

As a sur­prise for the teenager, the Royal Navy search and res­cue he­li­copter based at HMS Gan­net, Prest­wick, was able to in­cor­po­rate a short fly­past as part of its du­ties that day.

In the com­men­da­tion, Chief Coast­guard Keith Oliver said: ‘Through­out this in­ci­dent, An­drew re­mained on the line to the coast­guard and calmly con­veyed all de­tails asked of him dur­ing this op­er­a­tion, which was made more dif­fi­cult by the re­mote­ness of the lo­ca­tion.

‘An­drew is to be con­grat­u­lated on his calm­ness, brav­ery and ef­fec­tive ac­tions on that day, which un­doubt­edly saved the life of his grand­fa­ther.’

An­drew said: ‘I had to get him out. I am very ex­cited about get­ting this award.

‘My ad­vice to other peo­ple go­ing out on sim­i­lar trips would be to al­ways wear a life­jacket, let some­one on the shore know when you are leav­ing and when you are due to re­turn. And al­ways have a means of con­tact­ing some­one ashore in case there is a prob­lem.’

His mother, Chris­tine, said: ‘I am so proud of the calm and com­mon sense ap­proach that An­drew took when faced with this life-threat­en­ing sit­u­a­tion.’

Mr Malcolm said: ‘I was un­der the wa­ter and knew I had to get to the sur­face. When I saw An­drew in the boat com­ing to­wards me, I had ev­ery con­fi­dence that things would turn out all right.’


HON­OURED: An­drew Pa­ton, 13,

who saved his grand­fa­ther Sandy Malcolm, 82, left, was

pre­sented with a medal by Chief Coast­guard Keith Oliver.

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