‘It was carnage’ - Dramatic aftermath of river rescue of child

PUBLISHED: 08:55 29 October 2019 | UPDATED: 11:54 29 October 2019

A young child had to be rescued from the water near the Rushcutter's Arms in Thorpe St Andrew. Picture: Google

A young child had to be rescued from the water near the Rushcutter's Arms in Thorpe St Andrew. Picture: Google


Onlookers have described the dramatic rescue of a child who fell into the River Yare.

A small child, believed to be a girl, was rescued by emergency services after falling into the river from a boat passing near the Rushcutters pub on Yarmouth Road in Thorpe St Andrew.

Two fire crews, police and paramedics from the East of England ambulance all attended the scene at around 11.10am on Monday.

The child was taken to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital for further assessment and care. No further details have been released as to their current condition.

Gemma Gray, a beauty therapist, said she had never seen so many emergency vehicles.

The 36-year-old added: "Out of nowhere it was just carnage. I did have a bit of a panic as there were loads of emergency vehicles."

Another onlooker, a 50-year-old housewife who did not want to be named, said: "It was chaos. The road was really blocked. I thought it was something major."

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Ms Gray said she saw a mother taken into an ambulance cradling a little girl, thought to be around three years old, with white blonde hair.

She said: "The little girl was covered with blankets so I didn't see much. The police officer was carrying the brother, who looked a bit older. They all seemed alright but a bit distressed, which is what you would expect in the circumstances.

"In the three years I have been here, I've never seen anyone fall in or anything like it."

A 43-year-old woman, who did not want to be named, said she thought the family lived on Thorpe Island and had been crossing to shop when the child fell in the river.

She added: "I didn't hear screams or anything but I saw an emergency boat around Thorpe Island. It looked like they bought over a mother, a boy and a girl, but I couldn't see much because the area was completely surrounded by rescue teams. It was absolute carnage afterwards with all the emergency services."

John Rowe, 56, also witnessed the aftermath on his lunch break and said most people had cleared out of nearby businesses.

And Steve, 59, added the emergency services were on the scene for a good hour.

Did you witness the incident? Contact Ruth Lawes on 01603 772326 or email

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