Hero police officers who desperately tried to save a family from drowning at Aberdeen beach were honoured last night.
Constable Christopher Starkie, a rookie with only two months under his belt, was off duty when he rushed to the aid of the Walker family, after six-year-old Lucas, his brother Samuel, 13, and their mother Julie, 37, got into difficulty last August.
Last night the pair were presented with their awards at the Scottish Police Federation Bravery Awards ceremony at the Macdonald Holyrood Hotel in Edinburgh.
Little Lucas had been swept out into the choppy waters and Ms Walker and Samuel had gone in to retrieve him.
Constable Starkie, who was on the beach at the time of the incident, sprinted straight into the water to assist and managed to pull Samuel to safety.
Constable Daniel Gabrielli, a former lifeguard, arrived on the scene and also dived into the water to assist.
Other officers who had attended the call-out helped him pull Ms Walker from the sea and deliver first aid.
But she died a short time later. The youngest child, Lucas, was dragged out to sea by the tide and was recovered by a lifeboat. He later died.
Andrea MacDonald, chairwoman of the Scottish Police Federation, said: “This was an extremely fast moving, unpredictable and dangerous incident – and when confronted by such scenes, officers have to make split second decisions.
“This was a very sad day but these brave police officers did all they could, saving a teenager’s life in the process.”