Several rowers rescued a baby after her stroller fell into a river. The incident happened during a British Dragon Boat Racing Association event on the River Exe in Devon, England. The unidentified mother let go of the stroller, as she assumed the surface was level. Within moments, the stroller, and her baby, rolled away and fell into the river.
Andy Travers, Stuart Menzies, and Victor Martinez, were watching the race from the sidelines when they heard the mother scream. When they looked in her direction, they were horrified to see the occupied stroller slipping underwater.
As reported by the Mirror, all three men jumped into the river without hesitation. Martinez discusses the frightening scene:
“I saw the baby girl’s arms flailing on both sides of the buggy… I didn’t think about it, I just ran and dived straight in the water… think I hit the water at the same time as the buggy… I didn’t think twice.”
As the stroller was quite heavy, the rescue was especially difficult. Martinez said he eventually dove under the stroller and pushed it toward the surface:
“We managed to get her to the top and I was struggling to keep the buggy at the surface when I saw the girl’s face for the first time – she was screaming and crying but I looked into her eyes which were full of river water and just thought that she wasn’t going to drown today.”
As reported by the Metro, Martinez and his friends returned the baby, and her stroller, to the shore without further incident. Witnesses said the baby was examined by the racing association’s medical crew.
Following a preliminary examination the baby was taken to a local hospital for observation. However, she is expected to fully recover from the incident. Although her stroller fell into the river, the little girl did not suffer any serious injury.
A spokesman with the British Dragon Boat Racing Association issued an official statement, thanking the rowers for saving the little girl’s life:
“Thanks to some quick-thinking by Stuart Menzies, Vic Martinez and Andy Travers of Raging Dragons who jumped in to rescue the child and pram, it had a happy ending with the child seemingly ending up without a scratch, though a little wet.”
The three men said they were simply acting on instinct. However, witnesses, and the baby’s mother, are calling them heroes. Without their assistance the stroller, and the baby, could have been lost in the river.
[Image via Metro]