A HERO who rescued an elderly man from the River Weaver in Northwich has been presented with the Chief Fire Officers Meritorious Action Award.
Simon Henning (pictured) was walking to work in the town centre one morning last July when a woman screamed that a pensioner had fallen into the water while trying to moor his boat.
Initially, Simon thought the man was swimming for the shore, but soon realised he was struggling to keep his head above the water. He saw some rope by the bank and threw it to him, and pulled him to the edge of the river. But the quayside was six feet high and so he couldn't haul him to safety, and instead was able to reassure him the emergency services were on the way.
He then noticed that the untethered boat was loose and was heading towards the elderly victim - and could crush him against the quay wall. Simon, who lives in Manchester, jumped onto the craft and fended it away, securing the boat as he did so.
The first firefighter on the scene said: 'I have no doubt in my mind that the actions of Simon saved the life of this man, who was in distress and becoming weaker.'
Simon collected his award at Cheshire Fire Service's annual awards ceremony last week. It is presented to individuals who prevent loss of life, or put themselves in danger to assist someone else, or acted in a courageous manner to assist someone else in danger.