Bravery award for woman who saved the life of a drowning pensioner

A part-time marina worker who jumped into the water to save an unconscious 91-year-old pensioner from drowning has been presented with a bravery award.

Sarah Cunnington, who works at Mercia Marina in Willington, leapt into the water when Dennis Oates collapsed and fell into the marina.

“The last thing I recall is being halfway down the pathway and then I blacked out,” said Mr Oates. “The next thing I knew was Sarah screaming blue murder for someone to help her.

“Sarah had just dropped what she was carrying and jumped straight in, even though the water was deep.”

Following the incident, Sarah has now become a team leader of the first aid team at Mercia Marina so she can help even more people who need medical assistance.

“We would like to thank Sarah for her selfless and extremely brave actions which ultimately saved Dennis’ life and we are thankful that he has now made a full recovery,” said Robert Neff, Mercia Marina general manager.

“We would like to congratulate Sarah on receiving this award, which she thoroughly deserves.”

Mr Oates, who has lived on a house boat at Mercia Marina for five years and previously worked for the National Coal Board as a mechanic, spent four days in hospital following his rescue.

The award was from the East Midlands Ambulance Service.

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