A Blackpool mum has described her gratitude to an heroic group of teachers who rushed to the rescue when she and her five-month-old baby got into trouble in the water.
Laura Gilderdale, 31, jumped into Fleetwood boating lake to rescue her three-year-old daughter Emily after she slipped and fell in while hunting for crabs on Monday.
But while the brave mum pulled her daughter to shore, the pram containing her second child, five-month-old Amelia, rolled into the water as well.
Laura quickly jumped back into the freezing lake, but got into difficulties after saving Amelia with the help of her friend, Kandy Cardwell.
Her screams were heard by a group of teachers from Fleetwood Nautical Campus and one student, who were carrying out training exercises on the lake and rushed to help.
John Bradbury, David Jordan, Cal Lewis, Graeme Williamson and student Phil Devoy pulled the struggling mum out of the water.
Phil then took off his own jumper and wrapped Amelia in it to warm her up.
Laura, a schoolteacher from Kempton Avenue, Blackpool, said: “It’s a mother’s worst nightmare. I was screaming ‘get my baby out, get my baby out’.
“There are lots of ‘what ifs’, but thankfully we are completely fine thanks to the fast response of Kandy and the lifeboat people. If they weren’t on that lake training that day, who knows what would have happened.
“Phil was absolutely amazing with Amelia. I owe them a huge thank you.”
Laura and Amelia were taken to Blackpool Victoria Hospital to check for signs of secondary drowning, but were found to be unharmed.
Laura’s husband, Antony, also 31, who was at work at the time of the incident, said: “They deserve the highest honour.”
John Bradbury, who has worked with HM Coastguard for 37 years, said: “We heard a loud scream and realised there was a commotion going on so we all sprinted down the quay to where it was happening. We didn’t know what was going on at first but soon realised a disaster was unfolding.
“When we arrived, the two children were thankfully back on the quayside, but the mother couldn’t get out of the water so we assisted in getting her out and got them all back to the office to provide aftercare and warm them up. Our student Phil was also able to use his expertise in paediatric care to help look after the baby.
“When you work in this area you have the skills and training to provide assistance in rescue situations. We’re just pleased we were able to help and the family were all OK.”