The mother of a six-month-old baby blown off a harbour wall in his pushchair told yesterday how she “thought he was dead” after he plunged into the icy water.
Kate Cooper, 34, had taken son Sam for a walk around the local marina in Watchet, Somerset, when a sudden gust of wind swept the buggy off the sea wall.
Sam plunged face-down into 12ft of icy water while still strapped in and remained submerged for five minutes until dockmaster George Reeder, 63, dived in and saved him.
Speaking to BBC Points West from hospital, Kate said: “I just started screaming straight away, I was stripping off to jump in but something in the back of my brain said don’t do it, they will be fishing two bodies out of the water.
“The emergency services have since told me that not jumping in was the best decision I could have made because I wouldn’t have been able to hold Sam up and scream for help at the same time. So I just screamed and screamed until Tanya Allen, who fortunately lives on the harbour, came running down and George, who fished him out, must have cycled over in about 30 seconds from the other side of the marina.
“He jumped straight in and before I knew it everyone had turned up. The Coastguard was there and he was being pulled out the water. I thought he was dead. I thought he had been under for far too long, I was just collapsed on the pier screaming still. I thought that was it, he was gone.
“Then they pulled him out and I took him out of the buggy and Tanya said move out of the way, took over and gave him CPR. Then he took that breath in, which was amazing to see.
“Yeah, it was brilliant. Everyone was brilliant with the way they kicked in.”
The rescue happened at around 8am on Sunday while Kate, a caterer who is on maternity leave, took Sam for a walk with their two dogs.
A sudden gust of wind swept the pushchair into the 12ft-deep water and dockmaster Mr Reeder was alerted by the mum screaming, “My baby! My baby has gone in the water!”
He leapt into the sea and pulled the buggy back to the harbour wall, where bystanders and Coastguards attached ropes and pulled it to safety.
An air ambulance flew the baby to nearby Musgrove Park Hospital, in Taunton.
Kate added: “Sam is brilliant, he is bouncing and smiling again, he’s doing well, we’re really chuffed.
“I’m just going to stay at home and hold him forever and give him hugs.”
Medics at Mugrove Park Hospital in Taunton yesterday said Sam is expected to make a full recovery.