Ballymena sea cadet Lewis Allison used his training to aid his injured family in the aftermath of a serious car crash.
Following the two-car collision between Ballymena and Antrim, Lewis was able to help his dad, Thomas, his dad’s partner, Hazel Edgar, and her son, Stuart.
And he admitted he could not have responded in this fashion had it not been for Sea Cadets training.
Able Cadet Lewis, who is now recovering from the incident, kept trapped Ms Edgar calm, and lifted eight-year-old Stuart out of the vehicle. Ms Edgar was later cut free by the emergency services.
Lewis (16) who has applied to join the Royal Navy Reserves, said: “My dad’s partner’s son is only eight years old and has cerebral palsy, so I was quite worried about him – he was first on my priority list to get out of the car in case he had a seizure. I lifted him out of the window to a passer-by.
“I went back for my dad, because he was in the air from the seatbelt, he had no support at all, and I helped him. My dad’s partner said she was finding it hard to breathe because the seatbelt was round her neck, so I tried to calm her down.
“When I got out of the car, I was checking everyone was OK. I tried to keep everyone positive and told everyone to stay still. My thought at the time was just to make sure everyone was all right.
“Looking back, it could have been much worse. If I wasn’t in Sea Cadets, I wouldn’t have known what to do. What you are taught at Sea Cadets doesn’t compare to what you are taught at school. Sea Cadets has built my confidence, and helped with positive thinking – you are always taught to think positively, and that is what I tried to do.”
The chairman at Ballymena Sea Cadets Unit, Ruth Verner, said: “Ballymena Sea Cadets is very proud of Lewis, and always is. He is a fantastic cadet to have at the unit, and he is very dedicated and very good with the younger cadets, they all look up to him.
“It is no surprise that he would be so selfless and demonstrate the values Sea Cadets has taught him. There is a football tournament this Sunday, and he is still planning on playing in it. His dedication to the unit is to be admired.”
The crash took place on Monday 2 January on the main dual carriageway between Ballymena and Antrim, County Antrim, Northern Ireland.