Kidsgrove canal heroes to be honoured for brave rescue of drowning pensioner
THREE teenagers who rescued a drowning pensioner from a canal are to be given special awards for their bravery.
GCSE students Andy Shaw, Grace Eaton and Angelina Cliff pulled the 68-year-old man and his Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Poppy, out of the Trent and Mersey Canal in Kidsgrove.
The drama unfolded after the trio heard the man's screams as they were helping out at a nearby cub scout camp last week.
Andy fell into the canal himself in an effort to haul the victim out of the water, before the three helped get the pensioner safely back to his Third Avenue home.
Now the youngsters, who have just finished their exams at Maryhill High School, have been offered free tickets to Alton Towers by Kidsgrove Rotary Club.
They will also be handed certificates to recognise their courage.
Rotarian John White came up with the idea after reading about the teenagers' heroics in The Sentinel.
The 64-year-old, of The Meadows, said: "I raised this at a meeting on Wednesday night.
"They are shining examples of the outstanding young people we have in Kidsgrove and they should be given something to recognise what they did.
"I feel that we should let them know that we think what they did was really brilliant. They've saved this guy's life and we can't think of a better way to say thank you."
The group has also been praised by Kidsgrove deputy mayor Kyle Robinson. It comes as Kidsgrove Town Council is considering them for its Good Citizen awards.
He said: "Young people in Kidsgrove do get bad press from time to time, and this just goes to show that we have some great kids who really care about Kidsgrove and the area they live in.
"Not everyone would have done what they did and I think it's just fantastic. We will certainly be considering them for Good Citizen awards when they come around this year."
The friends have been flattered by the praise.
Sixteen-year-old Andy, of Second Avenue, who was head boy at Maryhill, said: "It's been crazy. I've been recognised just walking down the street a few times.
"My sister went to get her hair cut and the hairdresser was telling her how she cuts my hair. My sister thought that was funny.
"People have been too good if anything. We're very grateful.
"It was special what we did because I don't know if everyone would have done the same, but it's really just because we were in the right place at the right time. We had to make a snap decision."
Grace, aged 15, of Parklands, Kidsgrove, said: "I didn't expect so much attention. We just did what was right."
Angelina, aged 16, of Kinnersley Avenue, Kidsgrove, said: "It's really flattering but I don't feel as though we did anything really special. I'd like to think anyone would have done it."
The pensioner, who does not want to be named, had been trying to rescue his dog after it fell into the canal when he also tumbled in. The youngsters will receive their certificates at a forthcoming meeting of the rotary club.