Passers-by rescue woman from river in Market Harborough

Roy Shortland of Welland Park cafe helped pull a woman from the river in Welland Park on sunday evening..
PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER
Roy Shortland of Welland Park cafe helped pull a woman from the river in Welland Park on sunday evening.. PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER

Passers-by helped rescue a woman who fell down a five metre river bank in front of her son and dislocated her knee.

The accident happened at about 4pm on Sunday in Welland Park, Market Harborough, just behind the park cafe.

The 49-year-old woman from Lutterworth had been playing in the park with her six-year-old son when she slipped down the steep bank into the River Welland.

Cafe owner Roy Shortland was one of three passers-by who dragged the woman from the river.

“She had dislocated or fractured her knee and just couldn’t move” he explained.

“She was just sitting in the water getting colder and colder.

“Three of us eventually managed to slide her out of the muddy river onto the bank and then we wrapped her in blankets.

“Obviously the river water gets very cold at this time of year.”

The woman’s young son was taken to the cafe to be looked after while the drama was going on.

He was comforted by Mr Shortland’s daughter Poppy, who happened to be visiting the cafe, and is a local schoolteacher.

Mr Shortland added: “I don’t know exactly how the lady fell into the river, but I understand she was playing with her young lad and must have slipped.

“I guess the bank is about 15 feet high there and steeply sloping.

“Fortunately the river level was really low that day. A few days earlier with all the rain we’ve had, the river was much higher there and she could have been in real trouble.”

A fire and rescue team based at Market Harborough used a spinal longboard to transport the injured woman up the sloping bank and into a waiting ambulance.

Fire and rescue watch manager Tony Bishop said: “A woman fell down the bank into the water and dislocated or fractured her knee.

“We were there for over an hour - it was quite a job because of the woman’s injuries. The public had pulled her out of the river, but couldn’t get her up the steep bank, which is about four or five metres high at that point.”

The woman was also treated by paramedics at the scene, and taken by ambulance to Leicester Royal Infirmary.