Rescued boy, 11, had been drinking

AN 11-YEAR-old boy who nearly drowned in a river had been drinking alcohol before falling in, it was revealed yesterday. The youngster was dragged from the River Brain on Monday by two friends after he slipped as he walked across the top of weir.

AN 11-YEAR-old boy who nearly drowned in a river had been drinking alcohol before falling in, it was revealed yesterday.

The youngster was dragged from the River Brain on Monday by two friends after he slipped as he walked across the top of weir.

Although the river is shallow, the boy swallowed water and the first police officer on the scene described his condition as poorly.

Essex Police said the boy had been drinking liqueur shortly before the incident at 2.50pm in Braintree.


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It also emerged yesterday that a couple who stumbled across the emergency played a vital part in saving his life.

Care worker June Beasley, of Sedgefield Way, Braintree, was walking along the riverside path with her husband, Bert, when she saw the boy's friends struggling to get him out of the water.

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Using her first aid knowledge, she helped the boy while her husband called the ambulance service on his phone.

A paramedic took over when the Essex Air Ambulance landed at the scene at Skitts Hill.

Mrs Beasley: "I saw the boy flopping backwards and his friends trying to save him. My training came in handy. I put him in the recovery position and then I could see him starting to convulse, so I sat him upright."

Police said Mrs Beasley's actions saved the boy, who has not been named, from choking on his vomit.

Mr Beasley added: "We saw the two other boys dragging him across the grass, he was already out of the river, and they were planning on dragging him home.

"He smelt of drink, but I could not envisage a boy so young would have been drinking - the lads who were with him ran off."

The boy was airlifted to Broomfield Hospital, Chelmsford where his condition improved before he was discharged later in the evening.

Trina Goodchild, of the licensing unit at Braintree police station, said: "This is an example of the danger of alcohol and young people. They need to be aware of this."

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