A Perthshire mum has thanked the eight-year-old girl who saved her son from drowning in the River Tay – despite being unable to swim.
Kerry Paterson, who stays in Crieff, has hailed Tierney Batt as “amazing” after she saved the life of her 12-year-old son Cayden earlier this month.
Tierney first spotted that Cayden was in trouble while playing at Moncrieff Island.
Girl showed ‘incredible bravery’
After his cries for help went unheard by adults, the youngster entered the water herself – even though she cannot swim – and managed to keep Cayden’s head above the water while they waited to be pulled to shore.
Cayden’s mum Kerry said: “She was incredibly brave, calm and simply amazing.
“For a young child she did something some adults might not have thought about.
“I can’t express just how grateful I am, things could have been very different if she hadn’t helped him.
“She put herself in a situation of danger too – so I’m just so happy they’re both OK.”
Tierney’s dad Greig was impressed by his daughter’s quick thinking, but admitted he too was concerned for her safety.
He said: “She can’t swim either. I guess it was just her adrenaline that kept her going.
“Proud isn’t the word.
“The whole family were so nice, they thanked us so much and Kerry sent me a message on Facebook just saying how grateful they were.”
The dangers of open water
While the incident ended well for all those involved, other swimmers have not been so lucky.
Six people died across Scotland at the weekend in water incidents.
Kerry has now issued a warning to other parents about the dangers open water can present.
She said: “The water might look still and you might think it’s not too deep, but my son had his feet on the floor of the river .
“All of a sudden the floor dropped and he couldn’t touch the floor, and there was an under current.
“You just don’t know what’s beneath the surface.
‘It terrifies me’
“Whether you’re a good swimmer or not, you might not think it’ll happen but the chance is still there and unfortunately I now know from experience.
“It terrifies me – especially as I saw only a week later, give or take, the same thing happened again.”
Cayden is also taking a more cautious approach to the water following his accident.
Kerry added: “He’s saying he’s not going back in the water again, he got a huge fright but physically he’s OK.”