A HERO cop who saved a delirious teen from drowning in a Renfrewshire river has received a prestigious award.

Constable Andrew Cannon waded into the River Gryfe at Bridge of Weir and dragged the youth to safety before giving him vital first aid.

For his swift actions in rescuing the teen, Andrew has been named Emergency Services First Aid Hero as part of the Scottish First Aid Awards.

The drama began for Andrew after a distressed family reported that their 18-year-old son, who was suffering from a deterioration of mental health, coupled with taking drugs and alcohol, had left the house and was seen crossing the river.

Andrew, supported by an on-the-ground response team and a police helicopter, located the young man standing in the river, covered by dense foliage, in a spot not easily accessible by foot.

He was delirious, shouting at the officers, and when they approached, he lay down in the water and started to float downstream.

Realising it was a life-threatening situation, Andrew waded into the water and grabbed hold of the youth by his jacket.

Despite being both lighter and smaller, Andrew managed to drag the young man onto the riverbank and carried out out first aid until paramedics arrived.

The officer’s actions have earned widespread praise from other members of the emergency services.

Gary Mitchell, secretary at the Scottish Police Federation, said: “Whilst the positive outcome of this incident was a team effort, it was the quick thinking and resourcefulness of Constable Cannon, as well as his first aid skills, that prevented what could have been a life-threatening incident from becoming anything worse.”

Stuart Callison, chief executive of St Andrew’s First Aid, said Andrew is a clear example of the huge bravery shown by emergency services staff.
He added: “His handling of this incident and ability to deliver a combination of both physical and mental first aid to a young man when he needed it the most epitomises the very essence of a hero.”

Following the incident, from which the teenager made a full recovery, a message was sent from George Ballantyne, the teen’s grandfather, expressing heartfelt appreciation, especially to Andrew.

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