AN EIGHT-year-old boy has been hailed a hero after saving the life of his little sister when she fell in to the garden pond.
Fully-clothed Sophia Mollan, five, tumbled in to the icy pond at the family’s new home in Dunfermline, Fife, banging her head on the way down.
Tragedy was averted when her quick-thinking brother, Kyle, sent a younger sister to get help before managing to grab a flailing arm and eventually hauling the tot to safety.
His proud mother and father, Darren and Lynn, said Kyle showed remarkable presence of mind in shocking circumstances.
Lynn, a 32-year-old student nurse, said the family couldn’t bear to think what could have happened if their son hadn’t acted so quickly.
She said: “It doesn’t bear thinking about.
“Kyle is eight-years-old and knew exactly what to do and didn’t panic, he had his wits about him.
“That’s why we’re so proud of him, he’s really got his head screwed on.”
The drama unfolded after the family’s recent move to a new house in Townhill Road.
Kyle, Sophia and sister Mya, three, were playing in the garden while Darren, 40, was looking on.
Darren popped into the house briefly to change baby Caleb’s nappy, telling the three other children to stay well away from the pond.
But little Sophia wandered too close and fell in, bashing her face on the side of the pond.
She was unable to call for help as her mouth was below the waterline.
Kyle, who is in Primary Four at Pittencrieff Primary, said: “Dad said don’t go near the pond but she went near the pond and slipped.
“When she slipped in I said ‘Mya, go get daddy, Sophia’s hands were moving about all over the place.
“Finally I managed to grab her hand.”
Darren, 40, said parents should be reminded of the danger of garden ponds, which kill five children on average every year.
He said: “It’s one of those messages that needs to be told every few years. People need to be reminded of the dangers.”
A spokeswoman for the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents said: “We get to hear of cases in which, tragically, a child dies in a garden pond.
“But there are far more cases in which a child is rescued. We don’t hear about this as much so it’s hard to put the figure on the number of near misses.”
She added: “Children under the age of six need to be constantly supervised if there is a pond in the back garden.
“We also encourage parents of young children to consider if they need a garden pond and they might decide to fill it in until the child is over the key risk age of six.”