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Friday 20 October 2017

Harbour hero teens honoured for saving life of drowning girl

David Grant, Ben Graham and Alex May pictured at Balbriggan Harbour where they rescued a teenage girl who was lying face down in the sea. Picture Ciara Wilkinson.
David Grant, Ben Graham and Alex May pictured at Balbriggan Harbour where they rescued a teenage girl who was lying face down in the sea. Picture Ciara Wilkinson.

Three teens who saved a girl from drowning will be honoured for their bravery tonight.

The three, who are all students at Ardgillan Community College, were nominated for the award by the Skerries Coastguard after they rescued the 13-year-old from drowning in Balbriggan Harbour.

The three boys, Ben Graham (15), David Grant (15) and Alex May (15) were at the harbour because of the sunny weather in June 2013.

Tonight they and their parents will attend a lavish ceremony at Farmleigh House where they will be given letters of appreciation for their bravery

They are being honoured by Minister for Transport Paschal Donohue, who will present them with a Letter of Appreciation for Meritorious Service.

"I am delighted to have been invited to the awards, it is all very exciting for the three of us," Ben Graham said.

His mum Louise added: "I do think teens can get a bad press and it is right to recognise when something like this happens. "

The girl they rescued is understood to have made a full recovery.

The boys were at the harbour when they heard her friends shouting.

"We saw a group of girls shouting up to us that their friend was drowning," said David. "I just jumped in and went over to her. She was unconscious and lying down in the water. I grabbed her and began to bring her over to the steps."

Alex jumped in after him and the two boys held her up out of the water as they swam 20 metres to the pier wall.

HARNESS

A fisherman provided a harness to lift her up on to the pier and then Ben did compressions to get water out of her.

Ben had also tried to throw a life-saver down to his friends, but said the rope was knotted and not long enough to reach into the water.

Ben estimated that she had been in about 1.5m of water.

At the time Skerries coastguard said: "If it wasn't for their quick thinking, it could have been a very different story."

hnews@herald.ie

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