Bravery award for man who died trying to save his brother from lake

Ashley and Luke Yardy

Ashley and Luke Yardy - Credit: Archant

A 22-year-old man who died while trying to rescue his half-brother from a lake has been honoured posthumously for his bravery.

Brothers Ashley and Luke Yardy, of King Cob, Stretham, died at Kingfishers Bridge Wetland Project, near Wicken, in September 2011.

Luke, 17, a trainee gamekeeper, fell from a small boat while trying to retrieve the carcass of a dead bird from a lake, shot as part of a cull.

He was working on the site on behalf of AC, PC, & RC Green, a farming partnership which was managing the man-made wetland habitat.

Luke got into difficulty after falling the water and his brother, Ashley, 22, who was watching from the side of the lake, entered the lake to attempt a rescue.

Despite managing to swim out and reach his brother, and bring him back towards the bank, Ashley and his brother lost their footing and drowned.

The farming partnership was later prosecuted and fined £60,000 by the Health and Safety Executive after an investigation found Luke had not been provided with a life jacket.

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Last week, Ashley’s family, including his four-year-old son, Nathan, attended a ceremony held at Quy Mill Hotel, in Stow-cum-Quay, to receive a certificate from the Carnegie Hero Fund Trust.

The trust, which was established in 1908 in the UK, aims to recognise civilian heroism and give financial assistance to people who have been injured or to the dependants of people who have been killed in attempting to save a life.

On a memorial page dedicated to Ashley and Luke on Facebook, a message read:

“Yesterday was a very special day for the boys’ family and friends as a ceremony was held commemorating Ashley’s brave efforts to save Luke on that tragic day.

“Friends and family were invited along to witness the chairman of the Carnegie Hero Trust Fund award commemoration certificates of Ashley’s heroic deed to the family of the boys, greatly accepted by Nathan.

“The fund also pledges to help Luke and Ashley’s family with difficulties they may encounter and to aid in a secure future for Nathan.”