TWO heroic school friends rescued a boy who fell into the ice-covered Grantham Canal and could not get out.
Elisha Raado, 11, and Olivia Parke, 10, were walking to school when they saw the boy heading towards the frozen canal near Trent Road, Grantham.
They tried to stop him but after taking just one step onto the thin ice he plunged into the freezing water and was immediately in trouble.
Olivia said: “He was trying to grip on to the grass but he couldn’t, he was struggling to get out. We agreed with each other whether we should try and pull him out or not.”
The 10-year-old boy, who can swim just five metres, was up to his waist in the canal’s water, and had no way of getting out.
Elisha said: “Our first reaction was to pull him out. It was very worrying but we just tried to get him out quick.”
The girls worked as a team to grab one of the boy’s arms each and pull him out of the freezing water.
Olivia added: “If he had fallen any further in we would’ve had to run to the houses opposite to get help.”
After making sure the boy was ok the girls went to school and told their teacher what had happened.
Elisha said: “Everyone was congratulating us. We’re really proud of what we’ve done.”
The girls’ headteacher at Huntingtower Primary School, Mark Anderson, said: “We’re very proud of them. I think the important thing is that it’s great doing a feat like this, but you must make sure you keep yourselves out of danger as well. They had to make sure they weren’t going to follow him in.”
The boy, who attends Isaac Newton Primary School, is still in shock after his attempt to walk on the ice last Thursday went horribly wrong.
Pippa Walker, who is PE teacher at the school, which held a special assembly to thank the girls on Wednesday, said: “We are really grateful to the girls. We’re pleased they didn’t just walk by, they helped him out. He’s not a very strong swimmer at all. He was absolutely drenched to the skin when he got to school. It shocked him, and he’s certainly learnt his lesson.”
East Midlands Ambulance Service is urging people to be aware of the dangers of frozen water. Hazardous Area Response Team paramedic Peter Lewin, who advises people not to go on to the ice to help someone, said: “Every year someone loses their life and there are many more near misses after people have ventured out on to a frozen pond or lake to play or save a pet dog which has got into difficulty.
“Ice-related drowning is easily preventable and I urge parents to talk to their children about the dangers of playing on frozen water.”