A brave woman has been awarded after saving a 91-year-old man from drowning at Mercia Marina.
Sarah Cunnington, a part-time worker at the Willington marina, jumped into the water after pensioner Dennis Oates fell in on Friday, May 5.
She held Mr Oates' head above the water while calling for help. Miss Cunnington recalled: "We were walking down this path and I was just ahead of Dennis with a few bags on my shoulder.
"I'd spoken to him at the top of the path and literally as we were walking down I heard a big splash. He had gone crashing down through the trees.
"I looked down into the water and he was floating unconscious, face up but with his face under the surface of the water.
"I held his head so his face was out the water, but the water was about chest height, so all I could do was stand there and shout. He'd cut his head so there was quite a lot of blood in the water.
"I just shouted until a cleaner came to me, then the first aider was on the phone to the office, who were calling the ambulance."
Sarah doesn't just work at Mercia Marina, but also lives there on a narrowboat. She was handed a bravery award by East Midlands Ambulance Service on Friday.
She was reunited with Dennis, as well as Georgia Culligan, the 999 call handler who dealt with the incoming call, and ambulance technician Christa Calladine, who was one of the first members of East Midlands Ambulance Service on site after the incident.
Dennis Oates has lived on a boat at Mercia Marina for the past five years. Speaking about Sarah, he compared her to 'Wonder Woman' for her heroic act. He said: "Sarah is my number one heroine and my life-saver. Words fail me; I'm just so grateful. She absolutely deserves this award – she is marvellous.
"As far as Sarah is concerned, I can't say enough. There aren't enough suitable words in the English language to describe how I feel. When I opened my eyes, there she stood, she never hesitated and went straight in."
Georgia Culligan, the 999 call handler who answered the call admitted that this was the first incident she has ever had to deal with that involved someone drowning. She'd only been in the job two weeks when it happened.
She said: "With every call that comes in, you wonder what it's going to be, and when they said drowning I was worried. I'd only been in the job two weeks.
"But literally, as soon as it came through I knew exactly what we needed to do. They got the patient out of the water and thankfully it was a happy ending."
Sarah was presented with a bouquet of flowers and two plaques commemorating her brave act, and Tony Preston, the marketing and sales manager from Mercia Marina, said how thankful the whole marina community was for her brave act.
Mr Preston said: "I would just like to say a huge thank you to Sarah. This just shows what community spirit can do, what bravery can do and how someone can be so calm in that situation and think of life first. We're so thankful for that bravery, as is all the community here. We're truly in your debt."
Sarah expressed her shock at being "bombarded" at the marina and handed the award, but insisted that if she had to, she would do it again.
She continued: "At the end of the day, we really are a close community here and everybody helps everybody so it wasn't even a conscious decision to get in the water. I wouldn't ever do anything else and I don’t think anyone else here would.
"It was just a case of 'Is he OK?' and making sure he could breathe and be alright."