Daniel recognised as hero of courage

AN 18-year-old from Knaphill received a Community Heroes Award for Courage last month after being hailed a hero when he saved the life of a drowning man.

Now, on the recommendation of Surrey Police, Daniel Ditton, of Southwood Avenue, is set to receive two more national awards from the Royal Humane Society.

HERO - Daniel Ditton

HERO – Daniel Ditton

He fought to revive Nila Toora, after the Knaphill man lost his balance while ducking under the low Lockfield Bridge as he pushed his bicycle along the towpath close to St Johns Road in St Johns.

In awful weather conditions, Mr Toora, of Waterers Rise, fell 10 feet into the Basingstoke Canal and was seen floating face-down in the water.

Unable to reach him, Daniel (right) and two others used a pole to push the unconscious Mr Toora to the opposite bank, where they managed to haul him out.

Then, in a life and death battle, Daniel performed cardiac pulmonary resuscitation for about 10 minutes until two police officers arrived to take over – PC Luke Lightburn carrying out chest compressions and PCSO Steven McCorquodale giving rescue breaths.

The two Surrey officers will also receive Royal Humane Society awards for assisting Daniel in his fight to revive Mr Toora on May 24 last year.

Daniel, a former St John the Baptist School pupil, said: “The man had drowned in the Basingstoke Canal and once hauled out, I managed to start CPR until the emergency services arrived. They managed to get a pulse about 20 minutes after that.

“People have been really proud of me and I’m proud of myself. It is a great achievement and it is really so great to help someone in that way. It gives me a great sense of pride and it’s nice to be have recognition for such a thing.”

Secretary Dick Wilkinson, announcing the awards at the Royal Humane Society’s London HQ, said: “Daniel showed remarkable composure during this rescue. He then performed physically exacting CPR on his own for about 10 minutes.

“Around 30 minutes after Daniel first started, a pulse was detected by paramedics.

“But for the expertise of Daniel and these two police officers, the man would surely have died.

“Each of them will receive the richly deserved Resuscitation Certificates awarded to them, and Daniel has also been awarded a Testimonial on Parchment for his heroism on the day.

“Put simply, Daniel was without doubt the right person in the right place at the right time.”

Presentation of the awards is expected to take place in the near future.

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