A 15-year-old Armagh girl will receive the prestigious Pride of Britain bravery award for saving the lives of two people.
Eussie Montgomery helped save her eight-year-old family friend Mathieu and her own father Graham, who can’t swim, when they were swept away by a treacherous river current.
The pair were pulled out of the water while paddleboarding on the Charente River in France while on holiday last July.
The incident happened near the city of Jarnak.
After rescuing the boy, she had to rescue her father, who was stranded in the shallows after being swept off his feet by an unexpected current and taken into deep water.
Lucy will be presented with the Teenage Courage Award at a ceremony co-hosted by Carol Vorderman and Ashley Banja on October 27, which will be attended by a host of celebrities.
Lucy was named Sunday Life’s Spirit of Youth winner earlier this month Spirit of Northern Ireland Awards.
This is her second prestigious award following her courageous feat after receiving a Royal Humane Society testimonial on Vellum last year.
Speaking at the awards, dad Graham – headmaster of Armagh Royal School, where Lucy attends – said she had given him “a second chance at life”.
“You know, she saved my life, and there’s no better gift,” he said.
“I think it was amazing when I was in that situation and Lucy was handling the situation.
“I don’t think any of us panicked then. I only realized what was really bothering me once Lucy arrived.
“I tried to get back to the river bank, but the current carried me further and further into the river.
“And then I went under the water and then I came up and then I realized that my very bad swimming was not going to be the solution and I wasn’t going to get out.
“But I only realized it when Lucy came, when Lucy took my hand and said, ‘Just lie on my back’ and that’s what I did and it stabilized me and I was swimming.
“A lot of people who know I don’t swim and can’t swim have said to me, ‘Well, why were you there?’
“And that’s a really smart question, but I was knee-deep in water earlier that day. I never planned to end up in water up to my waist.
“I certainly never planned to end up in water where I was out of place — and that’s how easily you can end up in a life-threatening situation.
“It was a river I’ve been in so many times, it’s so shallow and so welcoming in parts, but still, it’s dangerous with the water and you just have to be very careful.”
More than 150 celebrities, including Idris Elba, Dame Mary Berry, Molly-May Hague, Tommy Fury, Olly Murs and Holly Willoughby, are set to join this year’s winners to celebrate their heroism and bravery at the event.
The star-studded judging panel includes actor Michael Sheen, Olympic gold medalist Nicola Adams, radio DJ Adele Roberts, president of the Royal College of GPs Claire Gerrard and Senior Constable Serena Kennedy from Merseyside Police, as well as broadcasters Moira Stewart and Kate Garraway.
The Pride of Britain Awards will be broadcast on ITV on October 27 at 8pm.