A quick-thinking schoolboy saved his drowning twin brother’s life when he got his friends to form a human chain so they could pull him from a lake. Twins Joshua and Aaron Spaven, both 13 years old, were out riding their bikes when Aaron fell off and grazed his hands and knees on ground. Aaron, who has learning difficulties, went to wash dirt from his hands in a nearby lake, when he slipped and fell into water. Realising his brother was in trouble, Joshua rushed to his aid, trying to keep his head above water while he shouted for help. As Joshua battled to save his brother, their friends Sam Ward and Bradley Willmett, who were walking their dogs nearby, came running to help. The trio formed a human chain, each holding on to hood of the other’s coat, while Joshua hauled Aaron from water and on to dry land. Mother of twins Tracy Spaven 47 years old said she panicked when she first heard what had happened, but couldn’t be prouder of boys’ amazing rescue.



Miss Spaven, of Stamshaw in Portsmouth, Hampshire, told ‘Aaron has got depletion of chromosome 16 which affects his movement, he has hyper-mobility and learning difficulties, so he is not able to go out on his own. The boys have been on their half-term break this week and went out on their bikes together, but I told Aaron he had to stay with Joshua. One part of Aaron’s condition is that he doesn’t like having dirt on him and when he fell off his bike, he went down to the water to wash his hands. When Aaron fell in, Joshua rushed over to him to try and get him out but he couldn’t reach him properly. He called out for help and it was just a coincidence that his friends were walking their dogs close by. The three lads formed a human chain and Joshua, who had hold of Aaron just by his cycle helmet, was able to pull him from the water.’

When they hauled Aaron back on to dry land, the youngsters made him take off his wet jumper and gave him one of their coats to try and keep him warm. Community carer Misss Spaven told ‘When they phoned me to tell me what had happened, I was in a panic. I started gathering things together and was about to rush down to the park, but as I grabbed my keys I saw the boys all coming down the road to our house. It was a relief to see that he was okay, Aaron even gave me a little wave as the others helped him back. The first thing he said to me was that he was really cold and so I got him inside and got him in a hot shower and then in to bed. I am just so proud of all the boys and for their quick thinking, even down to getting Aaron to remove his wet clothes to stop him getting colder. I have spoken to all their parents, but thank you just isn’t enough for what they did. Joshua was quite upset about it all, he said to me that he nearly lost his brother, but he doesn’t want to talk about it now, he just doesn’t want to remember it.’

Year 8 student Joshua told ‘Aaron’s head kept on going under I said one of you grab hold of my hood and then the other one grab the other’s hood and we all made a chain and managed to pull him out. I was worried I was going to lose my brother.’

And Aaron said ‘I thought I might drown but I am proud of my brother and my friends for saving me.’



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