Hero saves blind woman

Don McDougle who saved a blind woman from drowning at Holywell Dene.'REF 3007131235
Don McDougle who saved a blind woman from drowning at Holywell Dene.'REF 3007131235

A man has been hailed a hero after he helped save a blind woman from a river following the torrential rain last weekend.

Don McDougle had been out walking his dogs in Holywell Dene on Sunday morning when he noticed an elderly blind woman had fallen into the dene.

Don McDougle at Holywell Dene. 3007131235

Don McDougle at Holywell Dene. 3007131235

He quickly scrambled down the embankment into the river and kept the woman afloat by clinging onto a tree branch for 20 minutes until emergency teams arrived.

Mr McDougle, of Simonside in Seaton Sluice, said: “It was all very traumatic.

“There was a terrific flood running through the river. I went into the water and stayed with the woman for 20 minutes, supporting her as best I could.

“I had to hold onto a branch by the side of the river to keep afloat.

“Luckily another person out for a walk noticed us and called the emergency services otherwise I could have been in trouble.

“When the fire brigade came they put her on a stretcher and were able to pull her out.

“They and the police were all very helpful but it did get a bit dodgy at the time. I was just glad I could be of assistance.”

He added the guide dogs must have been scared and ran off, but they were rescued and reunited with the woman.

Paramedics took the woman to hospital for check-ups but Mr McDougle said the last update he had was that she was OK.