FIVE heroic schoolboys have received a bravery award from Police Scotland after they saved a drowning woman from the Forth.
The teenagers, who are all pupils at St Augustine’s High School, were walking by Gypsy Brae last September, when they noticed the woman struggling among the waves.
Realising how cold the water would be at that time of year, they raised the alarm with the emergency services and saved her life.
Andrew Bell, 12, TJ Anderson, 13, Aleks Czernecki, 13, Kian McGee, 12, and Wacka Ceesay, 12, received their award at the Police Scotland Bravery and Meritorious Service at Tulliallan Police College
They were joined by a couple from Falkirk who saved the life of a man walking on the City Bypass last December.
Chief Constable Phil Gormley presented commendations for bravery and meritorious conduct to 36 police officers and 21 members of the public for their outstanding efforts at the ceremony.
He said: “It is genuinely humbling to hear of the extraordinary lengths people have gone to, to help others.
“I was privileged to present these awards, meet the winners and to hear more about their stories.”
Last September, we told of how the teenagers had met at their usual nightly gathering spot in Granton before the incident occurred.
Kian, recalling the rescue yesterday, said: “We were at Gypsy Brae and we noticed her stumbling and thought something was wrong.
“She went down to the shore bit and started to strip.
“At first we thought it was funny and then suddenly there was a splash as she jumped into the water and we knew something was wrong.”
His friend Tyler added: “We got someone who was passing by to call the police and the coastguard.
“She would probably have died of hypothermia if we hadn’t.”
Chief Constable Gormley added: “It is absolutely right we honour their bravery and show not only how proud we are of our police officers in Scotland, but also of members of the public who don’t hesitate to take action to help another person at what could be the most difficult time of that individual’s life. The actions of the winners – both officers and members of the public – have undoubtedly saved lives and touched the hearts of people across the country.
“People become police officers to help others – I hope these awards make more people consider policing as a career when they see the difference they could make to others in their day-to-day work.”
Carolyn McEwan and Keith Wansbrough received their award after they risked their lives on the A720, close to its junction with the M8, after they spotted a man walking on the road.
The pair drove behind him at walking pace until the emergency services arrived.
Ms McEwan described the incident as “the longest 20 minutes of our lives” and “really quite scary.”