“She was just laying there, still as anything, just floating” - Landlady tells of Norwich’s river rescue
09:37 04 July 2014
A woman has been plucked to safety in a river rescue, with eyewitnesses saying she could have been in the water for hours.
The alarm was raised at 10.40am yesterday when a couple out walking with a child spotted someone in the River Wensum, opposite the Red Lion in Bishopgate.
But it is thought she could have been there for some time, as the landlady of the pub spotted what she thought was floating rubbish shortly after 8am.
Landlady Amanda Rose said she had been getting into her car in the pub car park, next to the river, to take her children to school.
She said: “I saw something over the river under the bushes. It’s usually just rubbish and carrier bags and all that.
“My little girls said ‘what’s that?’. I was looking but my eyes aren’t brilliant and my little girl said it could be a body.
“I said ‘don’t be so silly, it can’t be a body’.”
When she returned from the school run, Ms Rose said she looked again, but still thought it was just washed up rubbish, but made a mental note to ask someone else to have a look too.
As she was getting ready to open the pub, a couple with a child called by and said they believed there was a woman in the water.
Ms Rose’s friend Sandra Matthewson went to have a look and again thought it was rubbish. But the eagle-eyed couple had spotted a hand hanging on to a bit of tree root or greenery.
Ms Rose said: “She was just laying there, still as anything, just floating. I don’t know how long she must have been in there.
“It was a bit tense as it took them a while to get a boat up here to rescue her.
“I feel really bad that I didn’t see it was someone in the water. You get lots of rubbish over there and she was right underneath the bank.
“It just looked like carrier bags and rubbish.
“I look every day and think I hope I don’t find a body one morning.”
Boats from Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service and the Broads Authority were called to the scene, with the Broads Authority vessel arriving first and so was used to pull the woman from the water at 11am.
She was treated by ambulance at the scene and taken to hospital for further assessment.