Boy rescued pensioner who collapsed on beach

Jay Mackay is congratulated by brothers Lucas, Connor MacLachlan and Steffan MacLachlan. Picture: Lisa Ferguson
Jay Mackay is congratulated by brothers Lucas, Connor MacLachlan and Steffan MacLachlan. Picture: Lisa Ferguson
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A QUICK-THINKING 11-year-old has been praised for his bravery after rushing to the rescue of an elderly man who had collapsed on a beach.

Primary 7 pupil Jay Mackay was travelling home from school by bus from Musselburgh to his home in Prestonpans when he noticed the pensioner stumble on the beach and hit his head.

The rugby-mad schoolboy –who is more often found playing on his Xbox than doing first-aid training – leapt off the bus and rushed to the man’s aid. He was dipping in and out of consciousness but he told Jay his home address so he could get help.

The man, who is understood to be in his 90s but has chosen not to be identified, had suffered three gashes across his head, a number of broken ribs and a broken wrist.

Jay ran to the man’s home to tell his wife about the accident and to call for an ambulance.

He then waited by the man’s side until paramedics arrived and helped him into the ambulance.

Jay’s mum, Elaine MacLachlan, 34, said: “The man was down on the beach and he fell and cracked his head on the rocks.

“Jay’s never done any first aid before or anything like that. I think he just saw him and his instinct kicked in really.”

The proud mum-of-five was present at Pinkie St Peter’s Primary School in Musselburgh yesterday as Jay was presented with a trophy while his classmates serenaded him with their school song, You Are A Star.

Ms MacLachlan, who works as a care assistant to the elderly, said: “I think he was quite enjoying it all, but he was a bit nervous too. We are all absolutely very proud of him.

“I don’t really know how to explain it more, but he has done so well.”

His four brothers Steffan, four, Connor, five, Lucas, six, and Kyle, 13, are all very impressed by Jay’s actions, although they have been teasing him about all the attention he has received, their mum said.

Along with dad Rikki Mackay, 31, Elaine and Jay now plan to meet up with the elderly man.

Elaine said: “I know he is out of hospital now and he said he wanted to thank Jay personally. We are happy to meet them and glad he is doing okay.”

Modest Jay kept his heroic actions to himself until the old man’s granddaughter approached the school, as they wanted to thank his young rescuer.

Head teacher Sarah Ogden said: “I then spoke to Jay and discovered the extent of his actions to help this man.

“We decided it would be appropriate to host a special assembly to share Jay’s story with the other pupils and to present Jay with an award in recognition of his actions.”

Jay was presented with his award by Cllr Shamin Akhtar, cabinet member for education and children’s services at East Lothian Council, who described him as “a credit” to his family.

Cllr Akhtar said: “I was so impressed when I heard of Jay’s actions which undoubtedly helped the elderly man. His quick thinking and support for others are achievements which rightly deserved to be acknowledged.

“Jay is a real credit to his family and his school and I was delighted to be asked to attend the school assembly and to present him with a well-deserved award.”

As well as his “Community Star” award, Jay was also presented with vouchers for free swimming at Musselburgh sports centre to share with his family and a £50 gift voucher for Argos.