Pair praised for river rescue heroics

HEROIC members of the public saved a man and two boys from drowning in a north Essex river last night.The dramatic rescue took place in the River Colne in Rowhedge, just to the south of Colchester, at about 6pm.

By Roddy Ashworth

HEROIC members of the public saved a man and two boys from drowning in a north Essex river last night.

The dramatic rescue took place in the River Colne in Rowhedge, just to the south of Colchester, at about 6pm.

Senior ambulance manager, Alan Whitehead, said a 48-year-old man was in difficulty in the water with the two boys, aged eight and 11.


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Dave Gooding, 36, who lives opposite the river, was one of two men who helped pull the trio to safety.

“The first thing we all heard was a lot of shouting,” he said. “From what I can tell a young lad had jumped into the river to help out his mate but had got in to trouble as well and his dad had to go in to try and save them.

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“Unfortunately I don't think he could swim so got into some difficulty himself.

“I just did what anybody else would do and jumped in to try and save them, along with a guy called Simon.

“He reached the two kids first and was able to get them out but when we dragged the father to safety and onto the mud bank he looked like he had drowned.

“Luckily two nurses then appeared who were able to pump the water out and resuscitate him so that he could breathe.

“As far as I know the two children are okay but in shock and the man has been taken to hospital.

“Simon was the real hero but I have no idea who he is or where he has gone because after the drama had finished he just went back into the pub, finished his pint and left.”

A spokesman for the East of England Ambulance Service said: “The man was reportedly not breathing and had swallowed a lot of water.

“Ambulance crews took over when they arrived. The early intervention by the members of the public clearly played a major part in the man leaving the scene in an ambulance with a pulse and breathing on his own.

“The two children had also been under the surface and had swallowed some water. Although they were in a much better condition it must have been a very frightening experience for them.”

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