Andrew Young (29), Tony McGoldrick (55) and Robert Dale (60) came to the rescue of a 32-year-old who had fallen off the large wooden lock gates at Lock 16 in Camelon last Friday.
Andrew, from Westquarter, had been enjoying the sunshine when he spotted the man making his way across the gates before dropping around 15-20 feet over the edge into the deep part of the lock endangering his life.
Brave Andrew then sprinted to the lock and made his way down the ladder attached to the side wall of the canal and grabbed the man, but he couldn’t keep hold of him and shouted to Tony who was waking his way past while he was out keeping fit on a cycle.
Tony, manager of Falkirk’s Job Centre, took over and pulled the man, who was unconscious by this time, to safety by holding on to him and the ladder at the same time while Robert joined in, helping to keep the man’s head above water until emergency services came and pulled the man out using a rope.
Andrew said: “I think he had hit his head because he had a glazed look in his eye. I was shouting at him to kick and grab my hand but he was incoherent.
“I felt pure and utter panic and I shouted at Tony to come down to try.”
Father-of-two Tony, from Bainsford, said: “I didn’t start swimming until I was an adult but I’m quite a confident swimmer and I knew I could reach him.
“He was floating face down so I knew I had to be quick and I was thinking ‘is this a dead body?’ as I made my way across to him. I flipped him over, he was completely unconscious, and dragged him to the ladder and just held on.
“Another man, an older gentleman who I met on the path down at the Beefeater, came down the ladder and helped me after a while.
“Emergency services then started to open the lock to see if that would help but it made the water become even more violent so I had to shout to tell them to stop. It was quite frightening.”
Robert, from New Carron, said: “I did first aid in my job when I worked at Longannet so I was pretty calm. My arms were getting tired towards the end holding on to him but the main thing was he was safe and still alive.
Inspector Anton Stephenson of Falkirk Police Station described their actions as brave and said the heroes “undoubtedly” saved the man’s life by keeping his head above water.
The man was taken to Forth Valley Royal Hospital for treatment with injuries that were not life-threatening.