Somehow, I was sent this 6 months ago by a lady called Kaytlyn, and missed it, so big apologies. I am now hopefully making good, because in these difficult times, we all need a good hero story, and because Duncan never got a mention on here at the time it happened.
Also, the event was back in 2016, but Duncan, who works in Bude at Sea Fever (previously Sazerac Social) is very much an unsung hero. Not totally unsung, as he was given a well-deserved Police award for his bravery. Bar Manager, Duncan Wills, received the Chief Superintendent’s Good Citizenship Award for his bravery and selfless actions after he rescued a women trapped in a car which had plunged off the harbour wall into the sea back in 2016.
It’s an old story (2-3years), but worth telling if you haven’t heard it.
While closing up the bar one evening at the Old Custom House in Padstow, Duncan, and his colleague Craig were startled by a group of men banging on the locked door.
Upon investigating the cause of the commotion was a car, nose first in the bottom of the harbour with only the brake lights sticking out of the water. Craig ran to call the emergency services, while Duncan jumped in to rescue the occupants of the vehicle.
Luckily, the girl that had caused the car to enter the water had been sat with the door open, as she had only sat in the car to have a cigarette (the problem occurred when she turned the key to put the heater on, oblivious to the fact that the handbrake was broken, and her boyfriend had left it in gear) so opening the door and getting her out was easier than it may otherwise have been.
The real problem was that her boyfriend had also jumped in, and while entering the busy harbour, the car had hit the mooring ropes of adjacent boats, pulling them in towards the car and pinning the boyfriend between boat and car.
Duncan miraculously managed to pull the girl, “Lily” from the water and carry her up the ladder where Craig was waiting. Then, he entered the water again to rescue the boyfriend from serious peril.
Duncan tended to them until the ambulance service arrived, rallying those of his colleagues that had stayed behind after hours to fetch towels to assist in administering first aid.
First responders and police officers all agreed that Duncan had put himself in serious danger by assisting the couple, and Devon and Cornwall police officer John Pearce commended Duncan as a true hero, noting that the men that brought the incident to the attention of bar staff by banging on the door were all physically more capable in terms of strength and size but unwilling to enter the water in the dark.
Our contributor says:
I was told this story by a lady who worked with Duncan at the time, and verified it with the officer mentioned. Apparently Duncan refused to speak to reporters at the time, but I think he deserves some recognition as an unsung hero.
Would you have jumped in? How many can honestly say they would have?