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Woman pulled from river by three men after trying to save dog

PUBLISHED: 15:26 05 November 2020 | UPDATED: 12:03 06 November 2020

Jane Whiskerd, 46, who fell into the River Yare in Thorpe St Andrew, Norwich, pictured with her dog Bailey. Picture: Danielle Booden

Jane Whiskerd, 46, who fell into the River Yare in Thorpe St Andrew, Norwich, pictured with her dog Bailey. Picture: Danielle Booden

Danielle Booden/Archanrt 2020

A “black and blue” woman was pulled from a river by passers-by in a dramatic rescue after she toppled in while trying to save her dog from drowning.

Jane Whiskerd, 46, who fell into the River Yare, Thorpe St Andrew, Norwich, while trying to rescue her dog Bailey who had jumped in. Picture: Danielle BoodenJane Whiskerd, 46, who fell into the River Yare, Thorpe St Andrew, Norwich, while trying to rescue her dog Bailey who had jumped in. Picture: Danielle Booden

Jane Whiskerd, who cannot swim, clung to a boat rope and held onto Bailey the Labrador as she spent 30 minutes in the River Yare, off Whitlingham Lane.

A man in his 80s was the first to try to save her, climbing onto a boat in a bid to reach the 46-year-old, from South Avenue in Thorpe St Andrew.

The area of River Yare in Thorpe St Andrew, Norwich, where Jane Whiskerd, 46, fell into the river trying to rescue her dog Bailey. Picture: Danielle BoodenThe area of River Yare in Thorpe St Andrew, Norwich, where Jane Whiskerd, 46, fell into the river trying to rescue her dog Bailey. Picture: Danielle Booden

His efforts failed and she clung on until two men walked by and pulled her out of the water.

The incident happened at 9.30am on Wednesday, November 4, when Miss Whiskerd was taking Bailey for his morning walk.

The location at Thorpe Marshes where Jane Whiskerd, 46, fell into the river trying to rescue her dog Bailey. Picture: Danielle BoodenThe location at Thorpe Marshes where Jane Whiskerd, 46, fell into the river trying to rescue her dog Bailey. Picture: Danielle Booden

He went into the water and got stuck between two boats, while she was talking to the man in his 80s.

She said: “I thought if I went onto my knees to pull Bailey up I would be ok but that was not sensible. I toppled into the river and found myself flailing.

“There was nothing to put my feet on because the side is slippery and made of sheer metal. I cut my hands and I’m black and blue.”

She added her legs and ribs were badly bruised from the ordeal.

“When I fell in I felt panicked and cold. I was shivering when I came out. I was in the water for a long time,” added Miss Whiskerd, who has a 11-year-old daughter and 14-year-old son.

MORE: Warning after two people suffer serious injuries in boat propeller incidents

She said at points she was “floundering” in the water with her hefty dog, who was pushing her under.

During the rescue someone called 999 and the police and ambulance were called but she did not need to go to hospital.

Miss Whiskerd added: “I can walk but it is very painful. I am eternally grateful to the three men who rescued me. I am lucky to have come out with a few bruises. It could have been a lot worse if they had not have been there.”

She warned dog owners not to go into water to rescue their pets in an emergency situation.

“Think about things and don’t panic. Don’t go in because the dog can swim somewhere else. Bailey is absolutely fine,” Miss Whiskerd added.

The mother-of-two believed there should be more life jackets available around the River Yare, which is deep and runs alongside Whitlingham Broad in Trowse.


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