Claire Waller and her family were at Eyemouth Harbour on holiday when they saw Katie-Lou and her friend swept out to see by a wave.
They administered CPR at the scene.
"We just wanted to try and get her out of the water as quickly as possible. At that point she was still conscious, so we were shouting and throwing things in to to get her to grab them.
"It is very poignant to be receiving this award today. As parents, we would have done the same for ours, we would have done the same for anyone."
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The 42-year-old was last seen leaving work on Monday lunchtime.
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