A teenage girl was pulled to safety from a Highland river after a daring late-night rescue.
Personal trainer Alan Goodwin was walking along the beach in Nairn shortly before 10pm on Wednesday after finishing a one-to-one session with a client in the town.
As he walked along the pier, he heard the sound of someone screaming and struggling.
Looking down, he realised that a girl who had been sitting on the side of the pier had entered the water and was now struggling to stay afloat in the mouth of the River Nairn.
He said: “I had walked to the end of the pier because it was high tide and the waves were really crashing down in a dramatic way.
“I heard a scream and could see a man and a woman trying to get someone’s attention and that’s when I saw this person in the water.”
Mr Goodwin, a mental health campaigner who detailed his own struggles to an audience at Eden Court last year, is from Inverness but knew the area well having hosted fitness training camps on Nairn’s beach for years.
He believed that getting a hold of the life ring close to the shore was his best chance of rescuing the girl.
“I knew the life ring was there but not exactly where it was so I had to run and find it,” the 41-year-old said.
“There was a group of teenage lads there who were trying to help in any way they could. I threw the life ring and asked her to grab it but she wasn’t responding so I handed the life ring’s string to the lads and asked them to call 999.”
Using a ladder at the side of the pier, Mr Goodwin climbed down to the surface of the water.
The girl managed to get one hand on the ladder, allowing the personal trainer to grab a hold of her and lift her out of the water, up the ladder and back on to dry land.
Mr Goodwin said: “She said her legs were cold and she was struggling to move them. I was just offering her encouragement to get to the ladder and luckily I was able to get her out.
“I was just on auto-pilot. A fellow human being was suffering and in danger, I couldn’t live with myself if I didn’t do something about it.
“I just hope she’s OK. I’d love to hear from her and I’m here to talk if she ever wants to get in touch.”
Police, a coastguard team and an ambulance arrived at the scene shortly after the girl was pulled from the water.
The teen was treated by paramedics at the scene and left in an ambulance.
A spokesman for the coastguard said: “We tasked two teams, one from Nairn and another from Burghead, as well as the Moray inshore rescue boat, to reports of a female in the water at Nairn pier.
“By the time we arrived, a member of the public had pulled her out of the water and she was in an ambulance.”
A police spokeswoman added: “Around 9.55pm on July 1, a girl was rescued from the River Nairn at Harbour Street.
“She was treated by paramedics at the scene.”
Nairn River Community Council chairman Tommy Hogg lives close to the beach and heard the commotion.
He said: “I was worried that something bad had happened when I saw and heard the emergency response.
“Thankfully, the girl was saved. The man who rescued her deserves a lot of respect, not everyone would be so brave in those circumstances.”
Mr Goodwin was keen to stress the collective effort which helped get the teenage girl out of the water.
He said: “The group of four teenage boys on their bikes were a huge help, they acted very maturely.
“And so were the two women who sat with the girl while we waited for the paramedics, they all played their part.”
Were you involved in this rescue or do you know anyone that was? Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.