A hero from Mayfield, who put his own life on the line to save a man from drowning in Paisley, is to be awarded a top national bravery honour.
When road worker Scott Wyllie (44) from Chester Square, who had been working on a site nearby, saw a 59-year-old Paisley man in the fast flowing White Cart Water he didn’t hesitate. Even though he was wearing heavy work clothes and boots, he rushed into the water and pulled the man back to the safety of the bank.
The incident happened near Watermill Hotel in Mill Street, Paisley, on the morning of August 29 last year.
Scott recalled the day. He said: “It was my first day working on that site. An elderly couple asked me to help.
“My first thought was to call 999 then jump in and help him. There was a 20 foot drop to the water’s edge.
“I saw him in the water. Obviously he tried to kill himself but changed his mind and shouted for help.
“So I phoned 999 then I went down to the water’s edge. I found a path to get down there. I ran down, took my hat and headphones off, took out anything in my pockets and then dived in and swam out.
“He was actually dead at this point. I swam hard but the rift took me back. I still managed to get to him and got him out onto the bank.
“I then started pumping his chest. The ambulance service were on their way. I did that for 30/40 seconds then two police officers came and took over.
“Then the fire service arrived with a defibrillator that brought him back to life.”
Scott revealed just how tough his heroics were. He said: “I was knackered swimming about 35 metres out and then 35 metres back with a body. I don’t know where I got the strength from.
“I was burnt out, completely knackered. I got put in the ambulance and my heart rate was 165. And I had swallowed a lot of dirty water.
“I went home that day. But I was back at work the next day.
“It was actually a waterfall into the river, so it was fast. The water was quite deep. I thought I could walk out to him but I needed to swim.”
Now Scott has been awarded a Royal Humane Society Testimonial on Parchment. Something he can’t quite get his head around.
He said: “It feels alright, I don’t know really. It’s just one of those things. It happened that long ago. Everybody else would do the same surely. You wouldn’t want to stand and watch someone die.
“I still had all my work clothes on. It was just instinct to jump straight in. I was happy to help.
“I haven’t spoken to the guy I saved since. His son came down the next day to say he would come to see me but he never did.”
In addition to the award, Scott also won the personal praise of Andrew Chapman, secretary of the Royal Humane Society.
Speaking at the society’s London headquarters as he announced the awards, Mr Chapman said: “Mr Wyllie risked his life to go to the rescue of the man. He was in heavy labourer’s gear and could easily have been dragged under the water and drowned.
“However, with no thought for his own safety, he went straight into the water, managed to find the man, who by then was under the water, and drag him back to the safety of the bank. He was a true hero and richly deserves the award.”
The Paisley police officers who administered CPR –Inspector Damian Kane, and PCs Ruaraidh Johnston and Robert Young – will receive Resuscitation Certificates from the society.