Cadet Cpl Jordan Anderson from 2nd Battalion the Highlanders ACF was honoured by Royalty for his bravery at a ceremony in London on 30 May. Princess Alexandra presented Jordan (16) with the Chairman of the Royal Humane Society’s first ever annual bravery award for risking his life to save a man who had hurled himself into the sea at McDuff Harbour, Aberdeen.
After presenting the award to him at the Society’s glittering Annual Court at Haberdasher’s Hall in London, Princess Alexandra talked to him privately about the incident.
Jordan, backed by three other teenagers led the fight to prevent a man who had jumped into the sea at McDuff Harbour from drowning. The man died in hospital the following day but in recognition of the fight to save him Jordan, who himself risked drowning after going into the harbour to pull him to safety, was awarded a Royal Humane Society Testimonial on Vellum. The other three teens involved have received Certificates of Commendation from the Society.
On top of the testimonial he has already received though, the Society decided that Jordan’s fight to save the man was so courageous that he should be the first to receive the new award of which only one a year will be presented.
The incident happened the afternoon of 11 July last year. Army cadets, Jordan, Katlyn Wilson (16), and Shannon Wilson (14), along with Kyle Chapman (16), saw what had happened and went to the man’s rescue.
The man had jumped into the harbour and when Jordan saw that he was in trouble he jumped in and began to swim to help the man who was already about 50 metres offshore. As he swam he hit his leg aggravating an old injury and initially turned back.
Then, having realised that the man was in serious danger, he turned round and carried on swimming to him. In the mean-time Kyle Chapman had found a life-belt which he threw to him. When he reached the man Jordan used the life-belt to keep the man’s head above water and then towed him the 50 metres back to where paramedics and coastguards were waiting to help them ashore.
While this was happening Katlyn and Shannon Wilson had seen that the man’s partner had gone into shock and, using first aid skills they had been taught in the Army Cadets looked after her.
After yesterday’s presentation to Jordan, Andrew Chapman, Secretary of the Royal Humane Society added his personal praise for the teenagers.
“Tragically the man died in hospital the day after the incident. But these youngsters ensured that he had the best possible chance of survival,” said Mr Chapman.
“They did a superb job between them in rescuing the man from the water and caring for his distraught partner. All four richly deserve the awards that have been made to them. And Jordan certainly merits the added honour for the way even though he was in difficulty himself he persevered. The four of them are a credit to the younger generation.”
The roots of the Royal Humane Society stretch back more than two centuries. The Queen is its patron and it is the premier national body for honouring bravery in the saving of human life.
It was founded in 1774 by two of the day's eminent medical men, William Hawes and Thomas Cogan. Their primary motive was to promote techniques of resuscitation.
However, as it emerged that numerous people were prepared to put their own lives at risk to save others, the awards scheme evolved, and today a variety of awards are made depending on the bravery involved.