A couple who jumped into Helston Boating Lake to save the life of an elderly woman they found floating in the water have been named Citizens of the Year.

It was during the early hours of Wednesday, January 30 this year that Sue Mallinder and Alan Goldsworthy were woken by distressed cries coming from the direction of Coronation Park.

The couple, who live opposite the lake, raced over amid heavy rain and hail and saw someone floating in the middle of the lake.

They leaped in and pulled her out, now unresponsive and wearing only thin clothes, before carrying her to a nearby shelter where Alan tried to warm her while Sue ran to fetch blankets.

Police later told them that had they not pulled the pensioner from the lake when they did it was doubtful if she would have survived.

The woman, who was in her seventies and believed to have been from Porthleven, was taken to the Royal Cornwall Hospital in a "severe condition" with hypothermia, but was subsequently well enough to be released after receiving treatment.

The couple have now been jointly awarded this year's Citizen of the Year trophy from Helston Town Council, which recognises a person who has particularly contributed to the life of the town over the past 12 months.

Nominating them was Martine Knight, who wrote in a letter to the council: "Without thought to their own well-being, they both jumped into the water and made their way out to the person.

"Alan and Sue have played down their role in this remarkable event saying, 'You just do it. Someone desperately needed help and we just jumped in. It didn’t matter if it was cold or deep. You just know it’s down to you.'

"There can be few other examples of residents of our town putting themselves in way of harm to come to the aid of another and I recommend them, jointly, for the honour of Citizen of the Year 2019.”

Presenting the couple with their award, mayor John Martin said the council had received a number of nominations but found this one "standing head and shoulders above them all."

Sue, a contractor at RNAS Culdrose, said they were "shocked" to be receiving the trophy, with Alan, a civil servant also on the base, adding: "We're just glad the lady is doing fine."