Two lifeguards have been honoured with a special award following their fearless rescue of two people from the sea.
Ashley Boagey and Chris Ward, who are employed by Hartlepool Borough Council, staged the rescue while on duty at Seaton Carew during the summer.
They received The People’s Choice Award at the council’s annual Celebrating Achievement Awards event which acknowledges the hard work and commitment of its employees.
The pair rushed to the aid of a woman struggling in the sea after falling from a horse, and they also rescued a man when he too got into in difficulties as he tried to help.
The man and the woman were both brought ashore safely, while the horse was also unhurt.
The People’s Choice Award, which was sponsored by EDF Energy – the operators of Hartlepool Power Station, was presented for the first time at this year’s Celebrating Achievement ceremony which took place at the Borough Hall.
It was one of nine awards presented to Hartlepool Borough Council employees, but the only one based on nominations from members of the public.
Councillor Christopher Akers-Belcher, leader of Hartlepool Borough Council, said: “I would like to congratulate Ashley and Chris on being the first recipients of this new award. They showed tremendous courage and skill in rescuing the two people and the award is well deserved.
“There was a great response to the new award from members of the public who seemed really keen to recognise the work of staff who, in their opinion, always go the extra mile and I would like to thank everyone who submitted a nomination.”
Craig Dohring, station director at Hartlepool Power Station, said: “We were delighted to be part of these awards and I am so proud to be able to recognise the efforts of Ashley and Chris. They were very brave in the face of what were obviously very challenging conditions, importantly, because of their actions two people were saved.
“At the power station we try to reflect these kind of values in terms of teamwork and I know the staff here on site will also be very proud to have played their part in rewarding these two people.”