Belfast Telegraph

Hero Belfast student honoured for helping pull woman from river in Scotland

By Staff Reporter

A Northern Ireland student has been given a top lifesaving honour for helping to rescue a woman from a river in Scotland.

Janey Deehan (20) is one of three students who are to receive Royal Humane Society awards for saving the 50-year-old from the River Forth in Stirling.

Janey, from east Belfast, will receive one of the society's Testimonials on Parchment.

Harry Ball (20), from Stirling, will receive the same award, while Sean Forbes (20), from Fife, will get a certificate of commendation.

The rescue happened in the early hours of November 9, 2015.

The local woman had fallen into the fast flowing river and is understood to have been in a distressed state.

The trio of friends were walking over a bridge when they heard a scream and the sound of someone hitting the water.

Despite the dark and lack of street lights, they rushed to the riverbank where Janey and Harry waded in and dragged the woman to safety. Sean, meanwhile, rang emergency services.

Dick Wilkinson, secretary of the Royal Humane Society, said if they had not intervened the woman would have drowned.

"Put quite simply, they were the right people in the right place at the right time," Mr Wilkinson said.

"Speed was of the essence. The river was in full spate because of recent heavy rain.

"If the woman had not been spotted immediately she was in the water she would almost certainly have been washed down river and would have drowned. Thanks to the quick thinking and team-work of these three her life was saved.

"They richly deserve the awards they are to receive."

No date has been fixed for the presenting the awards, which follow a recommendation from Police Scotland.

The Royal Humane Society was founded in 1774 to promote techniques of resuscitation.

It makes a variety of awards depending on the bravery involved. The society also honours non-healthcare professionals who perform a successful resuscitation.

The society has considered more than 86,000 cases and made 200,000-plus awards.

The society is a registered charity dependent on voluntary donations.

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