A RELIEVED mother today thanked two heroes who saved her 11-year-old son from drowning.
Cleveleys rescuer Stella Russell swam around 200ft to get to Jake McLaughlin after he got into difficulties on Fleetwood Beach, close to Chatsworth Avenue.
While his friend Madison Stoney, also 11, kept him afloat, Mrs Russell plunged into the water to drag him to the shore.
Mrs Russell, a driving instructor from Marlborough Avenue, Cleveleys, told The Gazette: “I heard children screaming and saying someone was drowning. They were clearly upset.
“I took my jeans off and ran into the water.
“I was getting closer to him when he went under a couple of times and he was swallowing a lot of water.
“His friend did a really good job keeping him afloat for a long time and she was getting very tired.
“I was 20ft away and he went under for a long time but I managed to get hold of him and started swimming back with him.
“I am quite a strong swimmer, but I have a frozen shoulder at the moment. I think I managed it on adrenalin.
“I couldn’t do the crawl because my arm will only go up so far so I had to do breast stroke.
“He panicked a bit and wrapped himself round me and I thought we weren’t going to get back but I managed to calm him down.”
Madison, of Derwent Avenue, who attends Fleetwood High School with Jake, made her own way to shore while Mrs Russell helped get the boy back.
She said: “Jake was shouting for help. I tried to pull him out but I couldn’t.
“When they got him out I could see he was all right because he was talking.”
Jake’s mum Michelle Hargreaves, of Calder Avenue, Fleetwood, said she was grateful to both the heroes for saving her son’s life last Sunday.
FOR THE FULL DRAMATIC STORY SEE MONDAY’S GAZETTE