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Thursday, 25 April 2019
A MAN who jumped into a marina to save a woman from a sinking car says he hopes others would have done the same.
David Howard, 66, was walking at the Thames and Kennet Marina, off Henley Road, Caversham, where is the manager, when he heard the 4x4 crash through a fence.
He ran to the scene and jumped into the water before swimming out to the vehicle.
The woman driver had managed to get out but her two dogs were trapped in a cage inside and Mr Howard was unable to save them as the vehicle sank.
However, he helped the woman, who was in shock, swim to the bank.
The incident happened at about 3pm on June 12.
Mr Howard said: “I was walking along and heard an almighty crash.
“Me and a colleague ran over and then I jumped in. The car was about 20 yards out into the water so I swam out to it. The woman had managed to get out and away from the car. Her main concern was the dogs and I was trying to get them out but it sank so quickly.”
Mr Howard said he could feel the weight of the vehicle getting heavier as it filled with water. “I felt the nose of the car going down first,” he said. “I thought we were going to have enough time to get the dogs out but the next thing I knew the back started going down.
“I had a hold of the dogs’ cage but the car was so heavy. I could feel the back wheel of the car pushing on my foot. I could feel the water pulling it and I had to let go. I went down in seconds. watched the dogs disappear from view.
“Then I managed to help get her back to shore. She was a swimmer but I pulled her because she was in shock. There were lots of people on the bank by the time we got out, people who were able to help her.
“I went to have a shower and the others took over. By the time I had showered the police were there and I told them what happened.”
Police, an ambulance and the fire service attended the incident.
Mr Howard, who has worked at the marina for eight years, said he was a strong swimmer and just wanted to help the woman.
“I hope anyone would do the same if they were in that situation,” he said. “The only thing I wish I had done was take my boots off. They were so heavy and it meant I could not do front crawl. It’s just a shame I couldn’t do more to get the dogs.”
The car was pulled out of the water on Friday.
Entrepreneur David Sherriff, who owns the marina, said: “David is an exceptionally nice person and would do anything to help anybody.”
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