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‘I didn’t want anything to happen to any of them….’

‘I didn’t want anything to happen to any of them….’

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Instead of being concerned about his own safety, 16-year-old Deron Porter did what many would not do. He put others before himself.{{more}}

Porter, a resident of Campden Park and a fourth form student of the Dr J.P. Eustace Memorial Secondary School, helped to rescue some persons at sea, at a recent trip put on by the Local Coastguard as part of their annual summer program.

For his bravery, the soft-spoken youngster was on Saturday, August 27, presented with a plaque for bravery, by acting Commander of the Coastguard Lieutenant Deon Henry, at the closing of the summer program.

Relating the incident to SEARCHLIGHT, Porter said the group headed to Bequia on board a yacht for a day of fun. He stated that on the way down to the Grenadine island, the waters were very calm, but they became increasingly choppy on the return trip to mainland St Vincent.

“The yacht was bouncing on the waves heavily, and it had some students on the trampoline and that was when a wave come and lift us off the trampoline…,” Porter recalled.

The young man said some of the students, who were wearing life jackets, fell into the water. “I swim and manage to hold on ‘pon one girl and push her to hold on to a dinghy close to the boat (yacht)…,” Porter recounted.

Porter recalled also grabbing another girl by the hands and helping to put her into the dinghy before all of them were back, safe on board the yacht.

When asked what was going through his mind at the time, Porter replied, “I didn’t want anything to happen to any of them…,” he said.

According to Porter, he put into practice what was taught to him at the summer program. He also thanked the program’s instructors for doing such a great job.

Meanwhile, Chief Petty Officer Vinton John told the gathering that he was on board when the incident took place. Describing the situation as unfortunate, John commended the youngster for his bravery. “Porter was instrumental in getting everybody to safety. Remember at all times to practise safety and please pass this onto your friends…,” John beseeched.

Also sharing brief remarks, Commissioner of Police Keith Miller also lauded the young man for what he did. Miller also commended other persons who were on board, for putting what they were taught into practice and ensuring the students were not hurt.

“I want to commend students for exercising discipline. You are already experienced seamen in your own rights for exercising that level of confidence…,” Miller stated.

Miller took the time to appeal to persons to take extra caution when at sea.

“It is my appeal to users of the waters, to listen to the Coastguard and adhere to their advice,” he urged.

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