Boy, 7, and father rescued after Great Yarmouth crabbing accident
A holidaymaker and his son had a lucky escape after plunging into the River Bure while fishing for crabs yesterday.
The seven-year-old boy slipped into the waters by Vauxhall road bridge in Great Yarmouth, and his father leapt in to help him.
But both got into difficulty in the strong low tide, with the father struggling to keep his son above the surface.
The pair – from the Nottingham area – were spotted by the crew of a Broads hire cruiser, who threw in a ring and made the 999 call.
People aboard the passing Herbert Woods boat Royal Light 2 helped to haul the father and son out of the water, along with navigation rangers on the Broads Authority's Spirit of Breydon patrol boat.
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And they wrapped the pair in bedding from their hire boat to keep them warm before an ambulance took them to Gorleston's James Paget University Hospital (JPH), where they were treated after ingesting water.
Hemsby man Matthew McDonnell rode past the scene on his bike shortly after the incident, and said the outcome could have been a lot worse.
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Mr McDonnell wrote on the Facebook page of the EDP's sister paper, the Great Yarmouth Mercury: 'I biked past just after it happened and saw all the crabbing lines still hanging there from the hand railings under the Vauxhall Bridge – new road one.
'It was low tide sucking out the river and very sloppy mud, they were lucky indeed.'
He added there is a life ring around 20 metres along the path from the incident, but he did not know if it was used.
The 999 call was received by coastguard officers at Humber MRCC at 3.59pm yesterday, and they immediately contacted the Broads Authority.
Mario Siano, coastguard officer at Humber MRCC, said the incident was reported to them as 'a child in the water being held up by an adult'.
The Broads Authority patrol boat Spirit of Breydon attended to help, and also paged Gorleston inshore lifeboat.
Both the boy and his father were rescued from the water within 15 minutes, with the Royal Light 2 assisted by the Spirit of Breydon.
Mr Siano said passers-by also assisted in the rescue.
A spokesman for Herbert Woods said: 'We are pleased that one of our hire boats namely Royal Light 2 and the holidaymakers on board were able to come to the rescue of a small boy and his father who were in the river at Great Yarmouth.
'We were informed by this crew that they had assisted in the rescue and had used their bedding to wrap around the father and son.
'Royal Light 2 is equipped with a life ring and automatic life jackets for each crew member.
'We had subsequently delivered fresh bedding to the boat.'
Do you know the father and son who were rescued? Call reporter Sam Russell on 01493 847952.