A passer-by who sank to his neck in sludge to rescue an 11-year-old boy from a Sheffield river said it was his ‘natural instinct’ to save the youngster.
John Andrew, 39, scrambled across the top of a waterfall on the River Don near Winn Gardens, Middlewood, and, holding on to tree roots, dragged the boy to safety.
It was his “natural instinct”, he said. “I was always brought up not to get involved in things that don’t involve you, but this was different – I couldn’t just stand there while this young boy was in trouble. I didn’t even think about it, I just did what I felt was right.”
As firefighters and police raced to the scene, John sprang into action. “He must have been terrified while it was happening because when I pulled him out you could hear the suction noise dragging him down.”
John, who lives in Wincobank, had been taking his six-year-old son tadpoling. It was the first time for 15 years he had been to the spot where he used to play as a child.
His fiancee, Donna Garnham, 34, who saw the drama, said: “Our son Jack was saying: ‘Daddy looks like Fireman Sam going to the rescue’.”
Afterwards John said: “We hugged each other, I just wanted him to know he was safe now, and he hugged me back. I asked him if I could take him back to his home but he thought he would be in trouble, so I never got to know anything about him other than he was 11 and called Kyle.”