A GROUP of schoolboys who rescued a mum and baby from the freezing water of a canal have been praised for their quick thinking and brave actions.

Ethan Melvin, Campbell law and Joe Draycott - who are all aged 14 and attend Peter & Paul Catholic College, Widnes - were in the football Court at Spike Island nature reserve in Widnes on Saturday when the incident happened.

They were approached by a young girl who was in distress, shouting 'hey' and crying.

They went to her aid, asking what was wrong.

After walking with the little girl for a few moments Ethan spotted the pram, not really thinking anything at first but then to the right was the woman, in the water, holding onto the side.

The boys ran over and noticed she was holding a young baby with her free arm, Ethan took the baby, Joe and Campbell got the mum out and then assisted once all were okay to retrieve the pram.

Joe phoned for an ambulance and Campbell gave the address.

The boys stayed and assisted offering coats and jackets to wrap the baby as she was soaked through and until the ambulance arrived.

Ethan told the paramedics what had happened and they were taken to hospital as a precaution.

The woman had entered the St Helens Canal after the pram her baby was in had rolled into the water whilst she was feeding the ducks with her children at Spike Island.

Ethan's proud mother Susan told Runcorn & Widnes World: "They overheard that the older girl was three and the baby is four months.

"What's more how amazing that the little girl was clever enough to seek help and thankfully our boys were there.

"The boys believe there should be a barrier alongside the canal to prevent things like this happening so easily.

"They are so happy to hear that the family are fine, they have all been worried sick, along with ourselves.

"All three families, are immensely proud of what they did, they acted selflessly and got the best outcome with their quick thinking and bravery, all three deserve a medal and a few treats too."

Joe's mum Adele said: "We are so proud of Joe and his two friends, Campbell and Ethan.

"They showed immense bravery without a thought for their own safety, they were quick to work together to make sure all was safe. I could burst with pride for all three rave young men."

Campbell's mum Claire added: "I could not be any prouder of my son Campbell and his friends Joe and Ethan.

"To act that quickly and calmly under immense pressure at the age of 14 is just amazing.

"Well done to all three of you.

"So glad the hear that the lady and her children are doing well."

Sgt Sarah Kirkbride, from Widnes Local Policing Unit E Block response, was on duty at the time and was called to the rescue at Spike Island.

Praising the boys' bravery in an email to Susan, Sgt Kilbride: "Firstly I would like to say thank your son and his friends for assisting with this job.

"Quick thinking from them all prevented this incident from becoming far worse.

"Police and ambulance attended.

"Both mum and the baby were taken to hospital, but only as a precaution.

"I hope that this puts your son's mind at rest and again, thanks to him for his quick thinking and brave actions."