Monday 5 December 2016

'It’s fantastic that we have people like that...She is a true hero' - Mother pays tribute to woman who jumped into freezing waters to rescue son (3)

Cathal McMahon

Published 21/05/2016 | 19:31

A mother has started a fundraiser for a woman who jumped into the River Lee to save her son.

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Adriana Watters is hoping to show her gratitude to ‘hero’ Maria Foley who carried out the incredible rescue near Brian Boru Bridge in Cork City on Friday afternoon.

Caleb Watters (3) was going through the city with his au pair Anna and young sister Lucia when he suddenly ran close to the water's edge and fell in.

Speaking to Independent.ie Ms Watters said she believes Caleb would be dead if it wasn’t for Maria.

She said “My son can’t swim, he dropped five metres. She saved his life. I can’t believe how lucky we are.

“There must have been 1,000 angels looking over him, that Maria was there to save him.”

Ms Watters explained that she and her husband Alan were in work when two plain-clothes garda officers called to tell them there had been an accident.

They immediately reassured the concerned parents that her son was safe.

“Even though they told me ‘everything is fine’, So many things were going through my head. I was crying.

“It was something you never would think it would happen to you.”

Caleb Watters
Caleb Watters

Adriana and Alan were just two minutes from where the incident happened and they quickly arrived on the scene.

They met Maria there and were overwhelmed with how modest she was.

“I am so impressed by her. From all the people who were there they told me that from the second it happened she ran and just straight jumped in.

“She’s a mother so I guess she had that sixth sense.

“It’s fantastic that we have people like that around. She is a true hero.”

Ms Watters said Caleb spent a night in hospital but is now back in their Cork city home.

Adrian and Alan Watters
Adrian and Alan Watters

“There is not a scratch on him,” she laughed. “He said ‘mammy I fell in the water and there was a woman in the water with me’. He remembers that she was holding him the whole time.”

Adriana has now set up an online fund for Maria and she has already raised over €680.

“I just decided I needed to do something for her straight away. It’s not enough, you can’t repay a life but it’s all I can think of doing.”

She continued: “Every little penny will go to her. If she doesn’t want it, it will go to the emergency services.”

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