Mum of Letchworth boy who fell in Stevenage lake praises heroes who rescued him
- Credit: Brendan Falvey
The mum of a four-year-old boy who fell into a lake on Saturday is keen to thank the four strangers who helped rescue him from the water.
Natalie Burrows, who lives in Letchworth, was with her son Jake in Stevenage's Fairlands Valley Park on Saturday morning when the horror unfolded.
She said: "I was walking with my son around the Sailing Lake at the park, intending to take him to the playground at one end.
"My son's autistic and I wanted to treat him after having his hair cut, which is difficult for him because of sensory issues.
"I really should have known that it would be difficult to navigate that route to the play area, as he loves water and doesn't see danger, but I was confident we could manage.
"Suddenly though, before I could grab his arm, he'd started down the slope around the edge of the water and gone in."
Jake, who cannot swim, went under the water and Natalie screamed in horror.
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She said: "It was horrendous. His head bobbed under the water and I froze - I'm ashamed to say - before clambering in.
"At the same time a fantastic man also jumped in and helped me grab Jake, while the man's girlfriend and two other girls formed a line to help us up the slope and out of the lake."
Jake was understandably distressed when he was pulled from the water, but Natalie says he made a remarkably quick recovery.
She is eager to thank the group of strangers who came to Jake's aid.
Natalie said: "A huge thank you to the heroes who helped my son and I. I owe a huge debt of gratitude to all of them.
"My son and I were both shaken and in a state of shock, so I didn't catch the man's full name, just that he's called Ashley.
"He was with his girlfriend - whose name I've forgotten too - and their two small dogs. They live, I think, not too far from the park.
"I will never be able to repay the kindness they all showed - Ashley who jumped into the water, his girlfriend who helped us out of the lake and carried my soaking bag, and the two girls who gave Jake a pac-a-mac to keep him warm. They even walked back to our car with us.
"I just want to say a massive thank you to them.
"We'll make sure we don't take that route around the lake again!"