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Cyclist saves child from drowning in river Thames

Toddler saved in the nick of time near Reading

A quick-thinking cyclist saved a small child from drowning in Reading last weekend after she jumped into the Thames after him.

Melissa Goudie, a medical secretary, said she couldn't just stand there when she noticed a little boy face down in the river.

As she cycled along the riverbank with her seven year old son Alex and her friend Sandra Bungay she saw the boy, around two or three years old, disappearing into the water.

She told the Reading Chronicle: "I suddenly saw this jacket disappear beneath the water. I looked around and saw a man nearby with another child, and I shouted at him, but it all happened so quickly.

"I immediately jumped off my bike and ran to the edge of the water, and saw the little boy."

She said: "I was obviously fully clothed, I had a fleece, a jacket and trainers on, but I swam to him and pulled him back to the edge. He was wearing a padded jacket, which I think helped him from sinking, but he was just going under water when I reached him. I was in the right place at the right time really. I didn't think, I just completely acted on impulse."

The Royal Berkshire Hospital medical secretary was pulled from the water by Sandra and some joggers who had stopped to help, but she said that the man believed to be the little boy's father said a quick thank you before walking off.

Melissa said: "I called my husband Glenn to bring me some dry clothes, but the staff at Crowne Plaza very kindly let me use their facilities to shower and get cleaned up because I was wet and quite cold as the adrenaline wore off!

"It was very much a double act because I knew Sandra was waiting on the side and would be able to help me back out. There was no question of standing there and letting him drown."

She's not the first heroic cyclist to leap into water to rescue someone. A couple of years ago we reported on a David Atkinson (no, not that one!) in York who jumped into the river Ouse to fish out a runaway pram and baby.

And last year a mysterious female cyclist plunged into Swansea Marina to rescue a woman lying face down in the freezing cold water - then jumped back on her bike and pedalled away.

After an unpromising start, having to be bribed by her parents to learn to ride without stabilisers, Sarah became rather keener on cycling in her university years, and was eventually persuaded to upgrade to proper road cycling by the prospect of a shiny red Italian bike, which she promptly destroyed by trapping a pair of knickers in the rear derailleur. Sarah writes about about cycling every weekend on

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