St Albans family honoured for lake rescue attempt while out on evening stroll

Royal Humane Society medals

Royal Humane Society medals - Credit: Archant

A St Albans family didn’t hesitate when they rounded a corner on a Sunday evening stroll and found an elderly cyclist had crashed into a lake and was about to go under the water.

The actions of the Barrow family, of All Stud Cottage, Gorhambury, on August 30 last year have been recognised by the Royal Humane Society.

The drama occurred as the family was walking along a footpath between Bury and Stockers Lakes in Rickby lakes at Rickmansworth at around 6pm on August 30 last year.

They were passed during their walk by a 71-year-old Chorleywood man who was cycling with his dog on a lead. But shortly after he passed them the family rounded a corner and saw that he had crashed into the lake and was about to go under the water.

Two members of the family, Greg Barrow, 44, and Harrison Barrow, 14, went into the water to help the man while others raised the alarm and warned other walkers about what had happened and called for more help.

Dick Wilkinson, secretary of the Royal Humane Society, explained that the man - who died in hospital the following day - was just going under the surface when they saw him.

Greg and Harrison jumped in and and managed to stop his head going under but realised he had suffered a very serious head injury which left a large area of his skull exposed.

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When they got him to the bank, Greg stayed with him to prevent him from rolling back into the water helped by his wife Clare.

In the meantime other members of the family had called an ambulance, warned other walkers and Harrison had run to Bury Lake Mariners Centre to get more help resulting in two sailing instructors rushing to the scene.

Mr Wilkinson said: “Given that one minute a family was enjoying a stroll by a lake and the next minute they were plunged into a scenario like this there was some incredible team work that evening.

“Sadly the victim of the accident died the following day but undoubtedly they gave him the best possible chance of survival. Everybody involved in this incident richly deserves the awards that have been made to them.”

Greg and Harrison have been awarded Royal Humane Society Testimonials on Parchment, Clare, 42, Genevieve Barrow, 11, and Antonia Mason, 19, also from All Stud Cottage, have been awarded the society’s certificates of commendation.

Sailing instructor, David Blakesley, 24, of Chesham, has also been awarded the society’s certificate of commendation and the other sailing instructor, Freddie Crane, 21, of South Oxhey, receives a resuscitation certificate.

No date has yet been fixed for presentation of the awards which have been made following a recommendation from Herts Police but it is expected to take place in the near future.