A young police constable wept yesterday as he received a bravery award. Lai Hok-ning was saddened by the memory of the 11-year-old boy whose life he failed to save despite a heroic dive into the sea off Stanley last year. The boy, on a sailing course, was trapped underwater when his dinghy capsized about midday on August 18. Constable Lai, stationed at Marine South, was on the scene within five minutes of receiving a call. He dived under the dinghy in water 7 to 8 metres deep and found the boy trapped by a wire around his foot. When efforts to cut the wire with a knife failed, he and his five colleagues managed to right the 300kg dinghy. They gave the unconscious boy mouth-to-mouth resuscitation in the water but could not revive him. 'I was very unhappy at that time and felt sorry for the boy,' said the lifeguard-turned-police officer in a low voice yesterday. 'I kept on reviewing my rescue action to see if there was anything I did wrong, but I know we tried our best. It left the deepest impression on me.' He said that as a Christian, his prayers had helped to ease the psychological pressure and the boy's family had supported him. Constable Lai was among 24 heroes, including a sailor and coxswain from Star Ferry, a captain from a cargo ship and 18 police officers, who received Marine Department bravery awards yesterday. Police constables Ma Ho-ming and Wong Chi-kong won their awards for rescuing a 50-year-old man who attempted suicide by leaping into the sea off Tsim Sha Tsui in September after his business failed. After getting a call about midnight, the two officers from Western Kowloon Emergency Unit rushed to the seafront. Removing only his gun and belt, Constable Wong jumped in first and found the sinking man. Constable Ma followed and together they pulled the man to safety. 'The darkness, the man's struggle and the dangerous oyster shells on the sea wall were the biggest difficulties for us,' Constable Wong said. 'I didn't hesitate at all at that moment, although I have a wife, daughter and son,' Constable Ma said, 'because it's our responsibility to do so'.