A FORMER holiday park warden and Christchurch policeman have been honoured with a UK bravery award for saving the life of a young girl stuck in quicksand. After hearing a 13-year-old girl was trapped in mud up to her chest, heroic Stephen Price jumped off the cliff at Naish beach to reach her and proceeded to dig her out to safety.

Police swiftly attended the scene and PC David Mann also risked his life to save Tia Wilkins as she struggled against being sucked to a horrible death on May 27 last year.

Now both heroes are being awarded Royal Humane Society testimonials for saving the life of the 13-year-old following a recommendation from Dorset Police. Stephen, 46, who was the resident warden at Naish Holiday Park in New Milton, said: “I’m overwhelmed to be receiving this award. I’m in tears, it’s unbelievable.

“A security guard came running into reception and said a girl was stuck in the mud, so I drove to the cliff and jumped down as it’s a gradual slope.

“I told her to keep still and I lay out on the mud and started digging her out. She was hysterical, but calmed down.

“She definitely would have died if I hadn’t been there.”

Tia was walking along a path near a cliff top when she stepped off the path and found herself sinking in the quicksand.

Chairman of Hoburne Holiday Parks, Rosie Kennar said: “We are very proud of all Steve did that day to help the young girl and her family and send our warm congratulations to him and PC Mann on their richly-deserved awards.”

The Royal Humane Society grants awards for those who put their own lives at risk to save or attempt to save someone.