Good Citizen award is presented to Braunton pair at the North Devon police awards

The missing marine's car was found in one of the laybys overlooking Saunton. Picture: Sarah HowellsThe missing marine's car was found in one of the laybys overlooking Saunton. Picture: Sarah Howells

Two young men from Braunton who helped save the life of a Royal Marine who had stabbed himself have been hailed as heroes at North Devon’s annual police awards.

Bradley Williams and Samuel Denham were presented with the Good Citizen award by Devon Commander, Chief Superintendent Jim Colwell at Wednesday’s ceremony in Barnstaple Guildhall.

The night saw awards handed out to dozens of police officers and civilian staff of the North and West Devon LPA (Local Policing Authority) who had performed admirably in the line of duty.

Samuel and Bradley, both 17, were at a lay-by between Saunton and Croyde last autumn and joined two marines to help search for a colleague who had left a suicide note in his barracks.

The pair pose for a picture after the awards ceremony with Barnstaple mayor Julie Hunt.The pair pose for a picture after the awards ceremony with Barnstaple mayor Julie Hunt.

Using their local knowledge the teenagers were able to help find the missing man at the bottom of a cliff, accessed by a rope used by fishermen.

The man had a combat knife and had stabbed himself in the neck and chest, but the four were able to get the knife away from him and administer first aid.

Bradley and Samuel climbed up and down the rope several times to guide police and paramedics to the spot before coastguard and the RNLI were able to get the casualty to safety.

Their award citation read: “I am in no doubt, that without the actions of Samuel and Bradley, the MISPER (missing person) would have continued to self-harm and may well have inflicted fatal injuries before he was located.

“Their keen eyes and local knowledge not only potentially saved a life, but also saved a vast amount of time and resources for the police and coastguard. The descent to the cove was somewhat risky and both lads happily took that risk to try and save the life of another.”

After receiving their award, Bradley said: “We didn’t expect anything – you would want someone to help you in that situation.”

Samuel added: “I didn’t expect anything for it but it’s nice to know they appreciated it.”

******* CLICK here for the full line up of North Devon award winners ********