‘If she had drowned how would you live with yourself?’ says man who rescued woman from Norwich river
PUBLISHED: 16:24 26 April 2018 | UPDATED: 16:41 26 April 2018
The river rescuer in the latest incident has responded to a “don’t be a hero” warning by questioning how bystanders could live with themselves if they had not tried and the woman had drowned.
Alastair Brooke, 59, from Swanton Morley, jumped into the River Wensum to help rescue the woman on Tuesday night.
He said: “I fully understand you should not go jumping into water but I think both the lady who swam across and me, we both thought she was at serious risk.
“I don’t want to be thanked but I felt if someone had not done it and she had drowned how would you live with yourself?
“I’m 59, I’ve had a boat on the Broads for 10 years, I know how tidal it can be and I did not jump without thinking.”
On the night of the rescue, Mr Brooke was going to the Odeon cinema with wife Diane when he heard a woman shouting from the river.
“We parked up and walked down from King Street, I could hear a woman faintly shouting. There was another woman who had run back with a lifebelt.”
Mr Brooke said the woman in distress was near the middle of the bridge on the King Street side, and could not be seen clearly.
He said another rescuer, a young lady, was already in the water, swimming across to help. “She deserves the most praise as she took the most risk and was in the water for longer,” he said.
Mr Brooke managed to swing the lifebelt to the woman in distress and although she managed to grab it, Mr Brooke said she was panicking and the rope became tangled around her neck.
While the other rescuer was just about keeping the woman afloat, Mr Brooke could see she needed assistance.
He said: “I managed to jump down on the ledge next to the river but I still could not reach her because the water level was two or three feet down.
“I took my jacket off and I thought I’ve just got to get in here. And I just helped support this lady until the emergency services arrived.”
Mr Brooke said firefighters got the distressed woman out first before coming back for the other woman, and then assisted him from where he had managed to clamber out of the river.
He said: “The police took my name and then we didn’t go to the cinema and went home.”