A WIRRAL lifeboat volunteer whose dedication and 'selfless actions' helped save a kitesurfer in difficulty has been awarded a marine safety medal.

Lucy Shaw was off-duty but leapt into action less than four hours after New Brighton lifeboat station's open day on June 30 last year.

She was presented with the bronze marine medal from the Liverpool Shipwreck and Humane Society during a ceremony this week.

Lucy and sister Harriet were walking Lucy's dog at Harrison Drive that evening and it was during a stop at Derby Pool that they spotted the kitesurfer in the water.

Abandoning her sister, Lucy launched herself into the water to the surfer's aid. The lifeboat crew had also been alerted.

On the scene, the RNLI volunteer crew found three people in the Mersey – a kitesurfer, member of the public, as well as off-duty RNLI Lifeguard and lifeboat crew member Lucy.

Lucy continued to help the initial casualty to float, who by now was completely exhausted. She then assisted the other kiteboarder swim to shore to the waiting New Brighton Lifeboat shore crew.

Both of the kiteboarders declined any medical help and also declined to give their details.

Ian Thornton, Lifeboat operations manager, New Brighton Lifeboat said: "It is my opinion that Lucy has performed above and beyond that of expected from her.

"She has shown great common sense and maturity, in as much as she identified the problem, dynamically risk assessed the situation and undertook the correct course of action, without hesitating."

Recalling the incident, Lucy said at the time: "Instinct kicked in and I knew I needed to get to the man. 

"It took two or three minutes to get to him as he was out past the sea wall points.

"And he was tangled in the lines of his kite.

"At that moment another man swam up behind me – who may have been the kitesurfer's instructor – and we both managed to get the line off the kitesurfer.

"It was great to see the orange lifeboat and the lads.

"The kitesurfer might not have survived if I hadn’t seen him and sensed something was wrong.

"I went through the casualty care procedure when I reached him and he was exhausted.

"But all my RNLI training kicked in.

"Although I’m a lifeguard I didn’t have a rescue board or tube with me, but my water polo background also helped."

Praising both the quality of RNLI training and her fellow crew, Lucy continued: "Between the lifeboat crew, particularly Helm Jay [Hennessey] and me, the communication was quick and efficient.

"We both understood each other instinctively, which is the result of our professional-level training and teamwork. And I’m so relieved that both men are fine.

"I felt for my sister Harriet though. I just took off, abandoning her and my dog. We were reunited back at the boathouse though".