A woman has hailed her “guardian angels” after reuniting with two of the men who rescued her from a river
PUBLISHED: 06:10 09 November 2020 | UPDATED: 11:53 09 November 2020
A woman has hailed her “guardian angels” after reuniting with two of the men who rescued her from a river.
Jane Whiskerd, 46, from South Avenue in Thorpe St Andrew, in Norwich, was left black and blue after plunging into the River Yare off Whitlingham Lane, Thorpe St Andrew, on November 4.
It happened just after 9.30am in the Thorpe Marshes area while walking her 19-month-old Labrador, Bailey, who went into the river.
Her ordeal lasted 30 minutes and three men, including Richard Humphrey who is in his 80s, rushed to her aid.
She was pulled to safety by Stephen Whitlam, 58, from Dussindale.
On Sunday, Miss Whiskerd was reunited with the two men at the spot where the drama unfolded.
The mother-of-two, who cannot swim, said of Mr Whitlam: “I’d love to keep in touch with him. He is my guardian angel and has been a superhero.”
Mr Whitlam said: “Anyone would have done the same. I wasn’t a hero. She is a lovely lady. I will stay in contact.”
He said he had decided to walk along the river that morning to enjoy the sunshine but had not visited the area for a month because of miserable weather.
Mr Whitlam added: “A man in his 80s ran up to me to say there was a lady who had fallen into the river. I ran to her and grabbed her hand to pull her up but because of the weight of her clothes I could not manage it.
“This other dog walker, called Michael, turned up. He took one hand and I took the other. He slipped, got a wet foot and nearly went in himself. I thought ‘this could be worse with two people’.”
After getting the 46-year-old to grab onto a dog lead, Mr Whitlam “grabbed her under the armpits” to pull her up.
“I had a build up of adrenaline and pulled her up by her waist. She was exhausted, shaking and in shock,” he said.
MORE: Woman pulled from river by three men after trying to save dog
Miss Whiskerd did not need to go to hospital but was left in pain after bruised ribs and legs from her own attempts to get out.
Her initial rescue was started by the man in his 80s.
Scott Norman, Norfolk’s assistant chief fire officer, said: “Norfolk has a lot of potential water risk to the public. Cold water shock can kill quickly and there are often hidden dangers underwater that can’t be seen from the surface. If you see a person or animal in difficulty in the water, please call the emergency services and do not enter the water.”
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