Brave Stevenage mums race to lend a hand as tot rolls into freezing waters of Fairlands Valley Park’s sailing lake

Laura Williams and Cheryl Coates

Laura Williams and Cheryl Coates - Credit: Archant

Two brave Stevenage mums proved to be heroes when a baby boy in a buggy rolled into the freezing waters of Fairlands Valley Park’s sailing lake.

Fairlands Valley

Fairlands Valley - Credit: Archant

Pals Laura Williams and Cheryl Coates were taking their own children for a stroll when they spotted the pushchair fall into the cold water.

Speaking after the dramatic events Cheryl told the Comet: “Laura and I were walking around the lake with our children when we saw a young girl fall over.

“The woman she was with – who was pushing a buggy with a baby strapped into it – went to help the child. But as she let go of the pram to help the child it started to roll into the water.

“The woman, who we later found out was the childminder, immediately jumped into the water to save the child. The child was strapped in, and was face down under the water for around 20 to 30 seconds.

“The woman must have been a bit shocked as she was trying to lift the buggy out of the water. She succeeded in turning it around, but I thought I’d try and help, too.

“After Laura and I made sure our own kids were safe, I jumped in and managed to free the baby from its straps, and luckily succeeded in taking him out of the water.

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“We were all really worried about the baby being so cold.

“I don’t see myself as a hero – I think most people would have done the same thing.

“Accidents can happen and it wasn’t the poor lady’s fault at all. I’m just glad the baby survived and is absolutely fine.”

Laura said: “I stayed with our children and the little girl as they were hysterical. We’re just glad the baby recovered fully.

“The childminder thanked us, and we later heard the baby was fine after being treated at the Lister Hospital.

“I know Stevenage Borough Council can’t be expected to put up barriers around the whole lake – but we have thought at times, especially when the wind picks up around the more exposed parts of the lake, whether there shouldn’t be some sort of safety provision – or even around the busiest parts near the sailing centre and the cafe.”

In 2009 the Comet reported on a similar drama, when a mum had to jump into the lake to save her child.

Laura added: “I just think the council should do something in terms of increasing safety.”

A borough council spokesman said: “We regularly review health and safety arrangements within Fairlands Valley Park, and consider what steps we can undertake to reduce identified risks in future.

“The number of reported incidents of buggies being blown into the lake is extremely rare.

“We would, however, encourage park visitors to remain vigilant at all times – particularly when accompanying young children.”