On the afternoon of 16th December 2016, Mark MALONEY was on his way to meet colleagues, walking along the South Bank of the River Thames. A woman was out with her three young children when her four year old son climbed onto the railings and fell into the river. Mark heard screaming and saw that the boy had fallen into the water. He was being carried downstream by the current and was having difficulty keeping his head above water. The river was fast flowing with a strong ebb tide, it was cold, and there was a drop of about three metres to the water. It was not possible to gauge the depth or see any underwater hazards. Nevertheless, Mark took off his coat and shoes and jumped into the river. Initially he could not see the boy who had gone under, but he bobbed up again and Mark was able to reach him before he went under. Mark held the boy and got his head out of the water. He then grabbed hold of an iron rod that was sticking out of the wall so he could prevent himself being washed further away. Mark attempted to swim back towards the bank, and although a good swimmer, he could not overcome the strong current. People on the shore threw a life ring into the water and Mark eventually managed to reach that, and got them both back to a ladder by the wall. Both were given first aid and the boy was taken to hospital as a precaution against hypothermia. He was released later that evening. Mark was taken to a local police station where he was given a change of clothing, before making his way home.
For his actions that day Mark MALONEY was awarded the Royal Humane Society’s Bronze Medal.