West Yorkshire firefighter commended for bravery after off-duty rescue of drowning teen

A West Yorkshire firefighter has received a special commendation after the off-duty rescue of a drowning teenager.

Monday, 1st August 2022, 4:30 pm

Keighley White Watch Firefighter Adam Dykes was off-duty when he spotted the boy struggling in the Ilkley River.

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He was awarded a rare commendation for his bravery in a ceremony at Keighley Fire Station this morning.

Keighley White Watch Firefighter Adam Dykes was off-duty when he spotted the boy struggling in the Ilkley River. Picture: WYF&R

Speaking at the ceremony, Chief Fire Officer Roberts issued a reminder about the dangers of open water:

“As school holidays begin, the story of this rescue is a timely reminder of how easily people can get into trouble in the many dangerous areas of open water around West Yorkshire,” he said.

“It was pure luck that firefighter Dykes was nearby and spotted what was going on. If he hadn’t been there, it is likely the boy would have lost his life.

"As a firefighter trained in water rescue, he was able to recover the boy to safety despite being off-duty at the time.”

West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service is working in partnership with other fire and rescue services, Yorkshire Water, the Canal and River Trust and the RNLI to reduce the number of water-related incidents through a range of prevention activities.

Earlier this month, emergency services were called to the Aire and Calder Navigation near Broad Reach Lock, where the body of a 16-year-old boy was found in the water following a search.

“Please stick to designated swimming areas and talk to children and young people about water safety, and help them understand how to stay safe.” Chief Roberts added.