Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 22 October 2014

Hero recounts river baby rescue

The hero who plucked a baby from the River Ouse has been named as David Atkinson

A rescuer who plucked a four-month-old girl from a river after her pram rolled in has spoken of the dramatic moment he jumped into the water.

David Atkinson, 46, jumped into the River Ouse in York and pulled the baby from the water after hearing her mother's screams for help.

Mr Atkinson was joined in the rescue by two other men on Thursday morning.

The 31-year-old mother was pushing her daughter in a pram near Lendal Bridge when she stopped to fasten the coat of her other child. As she helped the child with her coat, the pram rolled into the river.

Mr Atkinson, who was cycling home, stopped and leapt into the river, pulling the pram and child to safety. Police believe he almost certainly saved the baby's life.

He told the Press newspaper: "It felt like it was in slow motion - like something out of a film. I was so scared.

"I ran and tried to grasp the handles of the pram, but couldn't and it went into the water. I thought there is nothing else to do but jump in after her.

"Yes, I was scared, but I had to try. Luckily she wasn't under long. I then just gave the mum a hug - she was so upset. I think I said something daft like 'just make sure she has a good life'."

Police said the mother, who has not been named, was shaken and upset by the incident but the child suffered no harm.

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