Brave deeds recognised at police awards

SBBN Eyemouth's Dean Mark special bravery award November 2015 rescued a man drowning in Eyemouth harbour
SBBN Eyemouth's Dean Mark special bravery award November 2015 rescued a man drowning in Eyemouth harbour

The selfless actions of brave Borderers have been recognised by Police Scotland this week.

The annual Bravery and Meritorious Ceremony was held at Police Scotland College, Tulliallan, recognising acts of exceptional bravery by police officers, police staff, special constables and members of the public.

A total of 49 people were presented with awards at the ceremony on Tuesday, November 10.

Eyemouth’s Dean Mark was presented with the Chief Constable’s Bravery Award after he saved a man’s life at Eyemouth Harbour.

Dean is a volunteer for the Eyemouth Lifeboat Crew and in May this year he was alerted by pager to an incident at the harbour where a man had lost his footing and fallen into the water. Dean was staying nearby and ran towards the harbour where, upon arrival, he saw the man face down in the water.

Witnesses informed Dean that the male had been in the water for between 25 and 30 minutes. On hearing this and knowing the cold water temperature, Dean decided to jump in and swam to the man before bringing him back to the harbour wall ladder where witnesses assisted in getting the male out of the water. The male was breathing but his body temperature had dropped significantly. He was taken to hospital and made a full recovery.

Also among this year’s recipients were Colin Pringle of Makerstoun and Steven Emerson from Newton Don, who were each presented with a Chief Constable’s Meritorious Award after they rescued a canoeist from the River Tweed.

In the summer of 2014, two experienced canoeists got into trouble after they capsized on a stretch of rapids. One managed to scramble to the shore but the other was trapped by his canoe against a large rock and was unable to move due to the force of the water. On hearing the cries for help Colin and Stephen, who are employed as ghillies on the Makerstoun Estate near Kelso, quickly made their way to the riverbank to assist. They were both wearing waders and very aware of the depth and force of the water but on hearing that the canoeist had been trapped for around 40 minutes they decided to carry out an immediate rescue in order to prevent hypothermia. They both waded into the fast-flowing water and freed the man before helping him back to the safety of the riverbank.

Chief Superintendent Gillian Imery, Divisional Police Commander for Lothians and Borders, said: “The individual acts of these men were nothing short of exceptional and their awards are richly deserved.

“Each of these situations was extremely dangerous and involved huge personal risk. However, thanks to swift and decisive action, lives were saved and criminals captured.

“That is certainly worth recognising and I am delighted that in Police Scotland we have the opportunity to do that.

“I pass on my sincere congratulations to all this year’s recipients and hope their selfless actions go on to inspire others.”