'Heroic' Northampton sixth form student rescues 10-year-old from icy lake

A Northampton Academy sixth former is being commended for his quick thinking and bravery after rescuing a youngster from Thorplands Lake.

Tuesday, 5th February 2019, 3:49 pm
Updated Thursday, 7th February 2019, 8:49 pm
Young Charlie Johnson pictured giving Nathaniel Clarke his thank you presents.
Young Charlie Johnson pictured giving Nathaniel Clarke his thank you presents.

Charlie Johnson, 10, was walking to school on Thursday when he decided to walk up the grass verge to see whether the lake had frozen over. His heavy backpack then slipped round to the front of his body and pulled him in.

Although the water in the lake was shallow, Charlie struggled to climb out and began to scream.

Nathaniel Clark from Northampton Academy was walking past Thorplands Lake when he heard the cries for help.

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Nathaniel was thanked by parents of the school for his quick-thinking.

He saw that Charlie had fallen in and instinctively ran to the other side of the lake and pulled the boy out.

Nathaniel then accompanied Charlie to his school, Lumbertubs Primary Academy, before continuing on to Northampton Academy.

Nathaniel said: “I heard the screams and my natural instincts kicked in. I didn’t think twice.

"I just had to try to help the boy.

"I hope this highlights the dangers of icy lakes to other children.”

The next day Charlie, along with his dad Glen and a group of parents, greeted Nathaniel as he walked past the primary school.

They cheered loudly and gave Nathaniel a box of chocolates, a tub of sweets and Charlie and his dad shook Nathaniel's hand to say a big thank you.

Glen said: "I rang him that night and thanked him.

"My boy bought him some sweets and chocolates and shook his hand.

"I just want to say a massive thank you, he has really done a good deed there."

Modest Nathaniel did not tell anyone at school about the incident until later on that day.

Jane Smith, head of sixth form at Northampton Academy, said: “We are proud of Nathaniel’s heroic action. This could easily have ended very differently.

"Nathaniel has shown real courage and determination and true strength of character.

"As a school committed to delivering an education with character, we encourage our students to be courageous, confident and kind individuals. Nathaniel has demonstrated these attributes in abundance; he is a real testament to Northampton Academy.”