Army Cadet receives bravery award after saving numerous lives on Portrush beach

An army cadet who rescued three children and two adults who were in imminent danger of drowning on a beach in Co Londonderry has received an award for bravery the Royal Humane Society.

Marley Shaw, 17, was visiting the West Strand Beach in Portrush with his family when he first noticed people in difficulty in the water.

He told UTV: "I noticed two children and they seemed quite distressed, they were flapping about and immediately alarm bells started ringing,

"My mum actually noticed first and said to me, 'Those two kids look like they’re in danger', so I went over and grabbed the first one and started swimming with him, but that’s when he told me he couldn’t swim.

"He was actually quite scared, so I held him and then handed him to my mum.

"Then I went to check on the other child. Then my mum started to get into danger.

"I assisted her getting back to the shoreline then helped get the other child back to shore and then by that time I’d realised that the friend of the family and her daughter was still stuck and was sort of being dragged back out of the water. So I went in and took them by the hand and pulled them out of the water."

Marley's mum, Louise, said the outcome could have been very different if Marley hadn't been there.

"It was an awful experience," she told UTV.

"It wasn't nice, we weren't too long on leaving the beach that day. I find myself very lucky that Marley was there."

The teenager has received two prestigious awards for saving five lives - an award for bravery from the Royal Humane Society and the League of Mercy.

While it was a very pressurised situation, Marley maintained a calm composure.

"It was quite stressful but luckily enough I’ve got that state of mind and can keep calm," he said.

"Even with the Cadets, they’ve really helped me harness that and prior to that I'd done my first aid so I was able to check for signs of hypothermia.

"Luckily enough there was no first aid needed, they were just a bit shook."

Now in lower-sixth, Marley has this advice for others who may find themselves in troubled water.

"Keep calm, focus, don’t put yourself into too much danger and know your limits," said the Cadet.

"Obviously always shout for help if there’s people nearby.

"You can't always do everything on your own and if there’s someone there to help, always take it."

You can read water safety advice from the RNLI by clicking this link.

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