On the afternoon of Friday 16 December Emily Deas (15) and her friend Lauren Campbell (16) were near the Monklands Canal in Coatbridge Lanarkshire when they heard cries for help.

A man had been walking his dog along the canal when his pet ran onto the frozen canal and then fell through the ice into the freezing water. The dogs owner then attempted to rescue his dog by going onto the ice himself which resulted in him unfortunately becoming a casualty as he too fell through the ice and entered the water.

After hearing the shouts for help, Emily and Lauren arrived at the bank of the canal, saw the man and his dog in the water, and immediately called the emergency services.

The Fire and Rescue Service and Paramedics arrived on scene and the two young girls were able to direct them to the man in trouble so they could perform a rescue to get the man and his dog out of the water.

The Royal Life Saving Society UK has recognised the bravery and quick thinking of Emily and Lauren, who despite not having any formal training, did the right thing by calling for the emergency services and ensuring they kept sight of the man until they arrived.

Both teenagers received certificates for saving the man and his pet which were presented at Coatbridge Fire Station by Community Firefighter and Water Safety Lead for Lanarkshire, Jim Scott, and Antony Coia, secretary of Open Water Rescue, and RLSS UK member. They were also presented with a letter of commendation from the Chief Officer of the Scottish Fire & Rescue Service and a letter of commendation from Water Safety Scotland. 

View winter water safety advice

Find out more about our lifesaving awards

RLSS UK's Lifesaver-Lifechanger Toolkit

Join a local lifesaving club