Bravery award for teen who saved grandfather
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.