A schoolboy and a man who worked together to save a girl from the flooded Taylor River have been awarded for their bravery.
Marlborough Boys' College head boy Angus Pauley and Blenheim multisport champion Jeremy McKenzie received the civic award at a ceremony in Marlborough District Council chambers yesterday.
Presenting the award, Mayor Alistair Sowman said the brave pair had risked their own lives to protect the life of another.
The duo had shown calm heads and good judgment to save a child's life, Sowman said.
"Given the high level of personal courage involved in the rescue, it is one example of remarkable public service as well as a compassionate response to the distress of a child.
"They have also earned the gratitude of parents everywhere. Every one of us would hope that someone of their calibre would step forward and help a child in such a terrifying situation."
The men captured nationwide admiration last month when they saved 12-year-old girl Tenishya McIsaac.
The Bohally Intermediate school pupil was trying to push her bike across a footbridge waist deep in water when she was swept along the river.
Angus stripped down to his underwear and socks and swam over to Tenishya, lifted her up and made sure she was above the water.
McKenzie met the pair at the riverbank but as Tenishya grabbed onto him, the weight of her uniform and backpack pulled the trio back into the water.
They managed to make it back to the bank, and McKenzie lifted her out of the water then Angus carried her up the bank as police arrived.
Marlborough police commander Inspector Simon Feltham praised the pair on behalf of the police and parents.
"There are certain jobs as a police officer you hear and your heart sinks. If it weren't for the intervention of Angus and Jeremy we would be dealing with a tragic event and not one of celebration. Without their intervention, a life would have been lost that day."
Angus, 17, said the public support had been overwhelming.
"To get an award like this is pretty special. I am sure we will both remember this for years to come."
Father-of-three McKenzie said he was humbled by the recognition and praised the support of St John, police and the council.
"We are part of a great community and on that day there were great people involved. We couldn't have hoped for a better result in the circumstances. It is something we can be proud of."
After the ceremony, Angus and McKenzie met with councillors, MP Colin King and representatives from the police and St John Ambulance.
- The Marlborough Express
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