Monday 24 July 2017

'Help me find mysterious lady who saved my baby from drowning', says dad

Linear Park in Newbridge Co Kildare
Linear Park in Newbridge Co Kildare

Ryan Nugent

A grateful dad wants to find and thank the woman who rescued his wife and baby from the Liffey.

She leapt into the river to save them from drowning, said John Butler, who added that he and his family will forever be indebted to her.

The incident happened late on Monday afternoon in Linear Park in Newbridge, Co Kildare.

Mr Butler's wife, Kelly, had been walking in the park with her four-year-old daughter, two-year-old son and eight-week-old baby, Annabelle.

While pushing Annabelle in her buggy, she turned round to help her four-year-old on her bicycle.

However, after turning away for a second the pram had run off the path.

"Our older daughter was getting a little tired, so my wife turned for a split-second to put her hands on the handlebars and give her a hand," Mr Butler told the Kildare FM radio station.

"She turned back to see the buggy leaving the footpath and slipping into the river with our baby in it.

"She jumped straight into the water up to her chest. Annabelle was already nearly submerged, only her head was above water, but thankfully the buggy didn't topple, it stayed upright."

Struggled

It was then that the stranger came rushing to help, with Mr Butler insisting that his wife would have seriously struggled to get the baby out of the water on her own.

"This lady came to our assistance, and thank God she did because my wife would have really found it hard to get back out of the river," he said.

"She immediately started to strip our little girl, took off all her wet clothes and wrapped her in her own scarf.

"My wife was scrambling up the riverbank. She lost her shoes in the water and had multiple cuts all over her legs.

"Her hands are all cut, her stomach is badly scratched and she's obviously pretty shaken up.

"The lady was there and she calmed the other kids as she rescued the baby."

Despite the woman helping the family to get home, Kelly was so upset that she didn't think to ask her for her contact details.

Mr Butler now hopes someone who might know her will put them in touch.

He said the woman has blonde hair, was wearing a black tracksuit top and prob-ably lives around the Newbridge area.

"She's a park user, so she probably lives quite close by," he said. "We'd really love to get in contact with her to say thank you.

Mr Butler added that he would like to see safety measures being taken around the park to ensure that further such incidents can be avoided.

"It was a close thing," he said. "There's quite a slope on that footpath.

"There's no fencing along there and there's no kerb, it's a straight drop down into the Liffey."

Mr Butler added that he has been in touch with the local council about the issue.

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