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Dunoon Observer and Argyllshire Standard Dunoon Observer and Argyllshire Standard
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Credit to Cowal

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Three local heroes have been given the highest accolade for bravery.

The undoubted hero of the hour on November 1, 2015 was Terry Smith, who waded into the icy waters of the Clyde to rescue three young children trapped in a car upside down in the water.



Gold Medal award winner Terry was joined at Dunoon police office on Tuesday this week by Andrew Dineley and Davie McTear to receive their certificates from Inspector Paul Robertson.

Inspector Robertson said: "I want to personally thank you for your efforts and actions that day. You went above and beyond what we or any other emergency services would have expected.

"Your deeds undoubtedly saved lives that day."

Terry, Andrew and Davie had gone to the assistance of a Dunoon woman when her car left the road in the Bullwood and ended up in the Clyde.

Mr Smith had been driving to work in his Western Ferries’ company van when he saw the accident and immediately rushed to help. Mr Dineley had been following and Mr McTear came from his house across the road.

Mr Smith, who served with the Argylls for six years, said at the time: "I knew the priority was to get the children out."

Getting the first two children out was a struggle, as Terry had to wrestle with seat belt buckles while all the time water was lapping inside. What was worrying to Terry at the time was that the third child was very quiet throughout the rescue – until he handed the baby to its mother, when it gave a ‘yelp’.

The trio were nominated for the national Police Public Bravery Awards by Police Scotland and their deeds were assessed against hundreds of other acts of bravery across the nation.

On Tuesday Mr Dineley said: "This is a complete surprise. We’d already received awards from Police Scotland so this has come out of the blue."

Inspector Robertson added: "You are a credit to yourselves, a credit to the local community and to Cowal in general."

No serious injuries resulted from the accident, although the occupants were described as ‘shocked and shaken’.

The coastguard, police and ambulance were all called, but Terry, Andrew and Davie arrived on the scene before any of them.

Terry said on Tuesday: "I wouldn’t want to go through that again. But you see it happening and there’s no time to think, just act."

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