UPDATED: Mystery York cyclist saves life of infant and pedals off

Rider leaps into River Ouse to rescue 4-month old baby

by Mark Appleton   July 21, 2011  

Boats on the River Ouse at York beside Lendal Bridge pic by Steve FE Cameron.JPG

A grateful York mother is hoping the, as yet unidentified, cyclist who saved the life of her infant child will step forward so she can thank him.

The drama unfolded this morning at about 9.30am when the 31-year old woman was pushing a pram carrying the 4-month old baby girl alongside the River Ouse near York’s Lendal Bridge, reports the York Press. Stopping to do up the coat of her older child, she let go of the pram which rolled into the river.

A passing cyclist leapt into action, dropping his bike before jumping into the river and plucking out both pram and baby. Then, like some two-wheeled guardian angel, the rider pedalled off before the woman could get his name.

Police are hoping the man will come forward so the grateful and relieved mum can thank him for his heroic intervention. 

UPDATE: The anonymous hero now has an identity. He is David Atkinson, 46, (no, not our Dave, though he did claim to have taken a long detour on his way in to work yesterday) who jumped into the river and rescued the infant who police believe would otherwise have drowned..

David, of Acomb, York, was cycling home near the Aviva building when he saw the drama unfold. He raced after the pram but anable to grab it jumped into the river and retrieved both pram and baby, assisted by  two other men, Mik Tankard and Jamie Atkin.

Jamie works at the nearby Bike Rescue Project hub beneath Lendal Bridge where the mother and baby were taken immediately after the incident prior to being transported to hospital where the child was checked and declared uninjured.

12 user comments

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downfader's picture

posted by downfader [184 posts]
21st July 2011 - 16:44

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Cool Cool

Did Nightrider 2013 for Parkinson's UK, doing it again this year just for the fun of it and to raise more money.

jova54's picture

posted by jova54 [513 posts]
21st July 2011 - 17:12

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The Daily Mail is probably going to run this as "Cyclist wanted for questioning after baby pushed in river"

mr-andrew's picture

posted by mr-andrew [290 posts]
21st July 2011 - 17:30

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I'm going with..........He nicked the bike so wasn't hanging around to be thanked and interview Devil

Gkam84's picture

posted by Gkam84 [7990 posts]
21st July 2011 - 18:01

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And just hours later, Schleckeman had winged his way to the Alps and was ripping it up on the Galibier...

Simon_MacMichael's picture

posted by Simon_MacMichael [7404 posts]
21st July 2011 - 18:20

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I love the idea of schleckerman, the obscure Luxembourgian freewheeling superhero.


posted by kaptnkrunch [57 posts]
21st July 2011 - 18:52

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If it had been where I live, the pram and baby heading into the river would have been a plant and the mum's mate would have been waiting round the corner to pinch the bike while the cyclist was being set up.

Old and cynical.

no reflection on my boss ...

AlisonSmiles's picture

posted by AlisonSmiles [2 posts]
22nd July 2011 - 8:47

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Is this how they operate triathalons up north? He didn't hang around as he still had a 10km run to do. Very impressive.

'Nice ride home, dear.'

'Oh yeah, you know, the usual.'

posted by Coleman [329 posts]
22nd July 2011 - 10:56

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did he have his bibshorts on over the top of his trousers?

"I can't believe I ate the whole thing..."

Cooks's picture

posted by Cooks [464 posts]
22nd July 2011 - 12:09

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All three recuers have come forward!

downfader's picture

posted by downfader [184 posts]
22nd July 2011 - 12:46

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Woohoo! A happy story involving cyclists. Although if this gets in to the Mail, I'll bet there'll be some complainer moaning about no helmet/going through lights/being on the road/being on a path.

Anyway, big double thumbs up to Dave! Smile

posted by Myriadgreen [89 posts]
25th July 2011 - 17:01

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I would have put good money on it being Johnny Hoogerland.

Upon clambering out of the lake he obviously saw an opportunity for an unexpected break from the peloton and went for it...

Fast like a salmon...

TheGriffalo's picture

posted by TheGriffalo [2 posts]
26th July 2011 - 9:07

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