Fast thinking five-year-old hailed a hero

A fast thinking five-year-old has been hailed a hero after he helped save his mam from drowning when she fell in the River Wear.

On Wednesday evening, business owner Kimberley Allison and her son Logan were on a lovely walk along the River Wear in Washington in the sunshine.

But disaster struck when the pair stopped to skip some rocks across the water in Fatfield – only for Kimberley to slip into the water.

She’d lost her footing on the embankment and was now stuck in thick mud with the water level in the river rising with every passing second.

Little Logan called out to his mam and told her to call 999 and ask for Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service (TWFRS), but her phone was water damaged.

So the pint-sized hero went to find an adult and was quickly able to flag down a passer-by who could call for help.

The member of the public did just that and TWFRS crews were deployed from nearby Washington Community Fire Station at 5.09pm.

Just minutes later the 39-year-old heard sirens and a rush of boots on the ground, with Logan helping to direct firefighters to her location.

The mam-of-three has now thanked the TWFRS firefighters who pulled her from the water – and the five-year-old hero who saved her life.

Kimberley, who lives in Washington, said “Honestly I was looking at Logan on the side of the River and I was trying not to panic for Logan’s sake, but I thought I had about 10 minutes.

“He stayed so calm and when I could hear the sirens it was like a sigh of relief because I know I’d be alright soon.

“I’m a bit shaken up and sore as I was trying to use all my strength to get myself out of the River but Logan is fine – I think he was just so excited to see the firefighters in real life action.

“I am so proud of him. I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say his actions have saved my life as I was out of sight of anyone who would be walking by.

“He loves to wear his Spiderman costume, and loves all the hero films, but he has been able to write his own hero story now!

“I must also say a big thanks to the firefighters, I was amazed at how quickly they arrived and how quickly they acted.

“They kept me as calm as possible, got me out of the water and made sure I was okay and got home safely. They were amazing.”

And today, firefighters from their local fire station have praised Logan’s bravery during his mam’s time of need.

Station Manager for Washington Community Fire Station, Martin Farrow, said: “Logan was an incredibly brave boy for staying calm and finding someone he trusted to give us a call during such a scary incident with his Mam last night.

“It can be quiet frightening when you enter the water so suddenly like Kimberley did because even when the weather is nice, the water can be freezing and cause your body to go into cold water shock.

“I want to say thank you to our fire control and firefighters for getting to Kimberley so quickly in her time of need and getting her safely back to Logan.”

The weather may be getting warmer, but the water can be icy cold, and TWFRS cannot stress enough the risks of cold-water shock, and the effect this has on even the most competent of swimmers.

They say only consider entering water in controlled environments where there are lifeguards on duty, and do not go for a swim in rivers, lakes, or unsupervised bodies of water where there could be a number of hidden dangers.

If you do see anyone in difficulty in the water then don’t enter the water. Instead call 999 and ask for the fire service if you are inland or the Coastguard if you are by the sea.

If you get in difficulty yourself then a simple skill remember is ‘Float to Live’.

Simply lean back like a starfish and use your arms and legs to stay afloat.

This will allow you to control your breathing, then call for help or swim to safety. The technique has been proven to save lives.