Life-saving men awarded for Caister beach rescue
Awards are to be handed out to three men who rescued a teenage girl when she became buried under 6ft of sand on a Norfolk beach.
Paul Williams, 51, Andrew Hewitt, 35, and Thomas Williams, 27, are to receive Royal Humane Society Certificates for their 'remarkable efforts' which helped save the teenager's life.
Paige Anderson, 15, was on holiday with her family when she became trapped on Caister beach when a tunnel she was digging collapsed on top of her.
Miss Anderson and her sister Jade, both from Kent, dug two holes and were attempting to create a tunnel between them.
The awards will be made to the three men from Caister lifeboat in January.
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Paul Williams, coxswain of Caister lifeboat whose son Thomas was involved in the rescue, said: 'Me and my son are very proud to be recognised by this award, but to be honest it was a case of being in the right place at the right time - we were lucky we'd got some shovels.
'Her face was absolutely purple, but as we pulled her she groaned and started coming back to life.
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'We never thought she'd be alive. I think that's why we kept such a cool head, she was so deep down we thought we'd be digging out a body.
'Two days later she visited us at the lifeboat shed saying all that hurt was her back, but there was no brain damage or anything.
'We took her out for an afternoon on the lifeboat so she had something nice to remember rather than the accident.'
Dick Wilkinson, secretary of the Royal Humane Society, said: '[Miss Anderson] owes her life to the remarkable efforts of these three rescuers, who risked their own safety due to the risk of further collapse.
'I know Paige's family will be forever thankful to them, and I hope these awards go some way to expressing their gratitude.'
The awards were made on the recommendation of the Rector of Caister and HM Coastguard.