A TEENAGER has been praised for saving the life of his friend when their dinghy capsized in freezing water.
Edward Kenny came to the rescue of Tony Cox when they were thrown into the water by a big wave.
The pair, along with friend Alan Duckworth, had gone out into Haslar marina in Gosport to fit a new part onto a boat when they got into trouble, 100ft from the shore.
Tony was struggling to stay afloat and as well as suffering from shock, he was unable to cope with the temperature of the water.
But Edward dragged him towards the shore and managed to safely pull him up on to the pontoon in the marina.
Tony, 64, from James Road in Bridgemary, Gosport, said: ‘I was thrown backwards.
‘I was absolutely frozen – it was so cold.
‘I have never been dropped in water like that before so it was a bit of a shock and there wasn’t a lot I could do.
‘Ed managed to drag me to the pontoon – he lifted us both out of the water.
‘I think he saved my life – he saved the day.
‘I can’t describe how grateful I am to him. He’s a good lad.
‘I would do anything for him to be honest.
‘Looking back on it, I wouldn’t do it again without a lifejacket on.’
Edward, 19, from Dayshes Close in Gosport, said it was a natural reaction for him to respond in the way he did.
‘It was just instinct to be honest,’ he said.
‘I was in the water and I looked at both Alan and Tony. I just reacted.
‘I just did what anyone else would have done.
‘I was cold and wet but at that moment I wasn’t thinking about myself so I just reacted from there and did what I needed to do.
‘Tony was not with it at all.’
Pal Alan, 67, from Stokes Bay mobile home park in Gosport, managed to swim to the pontoon but needed help from Edward to get up.
He added that Edward should be recognised for what he did.
‘He helped both of us but he saved Tony’s life.
‘It was pretty cold,’ he said.
‘He deserves a recognition. The cold hit Tony straight away.
‘He was just lifeless in the water.
‘He was in a decline, he couldn’t move at all.
‘He was in a bad way.’