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Lucy’s courage to be honoured after saving dad and friend from drowning

Graham Montgomery
Royal School headmaster Graham Montgomery (pictured) 'would have died' had it not been for quick actions of daughter Lucy

An Armagh teenager who saved the lives of two people, including her father, is set to receive a second bravery award for her actions.

Lucy Montgomery will be presented with the Pride of Britain courage award at a televised ceremony on October 27 where famous guests will include singer Olly Murs, actor Idris Elba and chef Dame Mary Berry.

Fifteen-year-old Lucy helped rescue her father Graham, headmaster of The Royal School Armagh, and an eight-year-old family friend during a holiday in France last July.

The pair were dragged out by the water while paddle-boarding in the Charente River, near the town of Jarnac.

After saving the young boy, Lucy had to rescue her father after he was swept off his feet into deep water by a surprise current.

Last year she was awarded a Royal Humane Society Testimonial on Vellum, one of the UK’s highest national bravery honours.

And earlier this month, Lucy was named the Spirit of Youth winner at the Sunday Life Spirit of Northern Ireland Awards.

Speaking to Armagh I last December, Mr Montgomery said he was “in no doubt” he would have drowned, had it not been for the quick actions of his daughter.

“She was very cool and collected about it and thought her way through the situation really well,” he said.

“She swam one direction to deal with the little boy and then realised that I was really struggling so she swam across the river to me and sorted me by getting me to lie on my back.

“By that stage she realised she couldn’t get out of the river because the current was so strong so she swam after her body board and clung onto it and eventually she was able to get onto the bank.”

Mr Montgomery added that although he had learnt to swim at school he was not a strong swimmer and could only do a few strokes.

He said the incident had made him decide to take up swimming lessons again.

“I was completely surprised by how suddenly it happened because it had never been my intention to be out of my depth,” he said.

“It has taught me how easily things can get out of control and I wouldn’t want to be in a situation like that again where someone wanted help and I couldn’t give it, or where I had to depend on someone else taking a risk.”

The Pride of Britain Awards will be broadcast on ITV at 8pm on October 27.

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