May 21 2013 Latest news:
By Martin George
Friday, July 13, 2012
A pensioner who feared for her life when she plunged into the River Yare while walking her dog has said a public ‘thank you’ to the rescuers who pulled her to safety.
Janet Woods was taking her dog Ollie for a walk near the University of East Anglia campus during her husband’s hospital appointment on Wednesday, July 4, when she stepped on to a concrete slipway so the dog could take a drink.
But the 69-year-old former journalist lost her footing on the slippery surface and “half slipped and half ran” into the water, ending up fully submerged but still clinging on to the lead of her pet. Mrs Woods, who lives in Lyng, said: “I went in on my back and just went right under the water. It’s not really the sort of thing you want to do at my age!
“I was thinking to myself at the time ‘Oh God, I’m going into the river’ and at one point I thought ‘I’m not going to get out of it’. I’m not a very good swimmer – never have been. I was a bit panicky.
“I managed to struggle towards the bank, but I don’t think I would have got out if it was not for these people who kindly helped.
“The dog stood on the bank looking at me as if I was an idiot.”
She said her rescuers, a couple with a dog and another walker, took her back to her car, lent her a towel and escorted her to the hospital to meet her husband, who was surprised by the “drowned rat apparition”.
They told her other people had also slipped at the same point, near a footbridge at the University of East Anglia Broad, and Mrs Woods called for warning signs to be erected to stop further accidents.
A spokesman for the University of East Anglia said: “We have received no report of any incident in this area, but will investigate now it has been brought to our attention. We would like to understand exactly what happened in this case.
“We take safety very seriously and maintain the campus to a high standard.
“Surfaces anywhere may be slippery due to the exceptionally wet weather that we have had over recent weeks and people should always take great care when out walking.“
Mrs Woods said she was worried she had not thanked her rescuers properly because of her state of shock, and said: “It was very sweet of them and very typically Norfolk, very friendly.”
Have you taken part in a rescue? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.