Baby Blown Into Water At Watchet Harbour 'Saved By Hero Dock Master George Reeder'

A heroic dock master has spoken of how he dived into freezing cold waters to rescue a six-month old baby boy after his buggy was blown in by strong winds.

The infant, who was strapped in the buggy, was swept into the the water as his mother walked along Watchet Harbour, Somerset, at 8am on Sunday.

After hearing screams for help George Reeder, 63, initially thought a dog had fallen in but was horrified to see the pushchair upturned in the water.

He dived in and pulled the pushchair to the wall, before a member of the public helped attach a rope and haul it to dry land - but not before the baby had spent around five minutes in the water.

The baby, named in reports as Sam, was revived by a passer-by who administered CPR, before being taken to hospital, where he is now thought to be out of intensive care.

Mr Reeder, who has worked at the marina for 11 years, said he heard screaming from a couple of hundred yards away before jumping on his bike to see what had happened.

He said: "I don't know exactly how he went in, but I was on the esplanade and heard the commotion and I assumed somebody's dog had gone into the water, so I went cycling over.

"They were on the West Pier, where you walk up to the lighthouse, some way away, but the noise travels and I could hear screaming from a woman.

"The mother was there and she said 'my baby has gone in the water', so I went to the edge and I could see the pushchair upside down, floating away.

"I just jumped in and pulled the pushchair back over to the edge of the quay, and then somebody put a rope down over and I tied it on and they lifted it out.

"As far as I know, what the police told me was that the wind blew the buggy in."

Mr Reeder said it was "amazing" that the baby survived, adding: "The baby was still in the pushchair, it was very cold, it is amazing really because he must have been in there for a good five minutes, under the water.

"They pulled up the pushchair and a lady started doing CPR, and then the coastguard came, and the ambulance and the police, so I backed out of the way."

A local member of the coastguard took over the CPR from the woman and Mr Reeder said the baby started to take in breaths.

He said: "You could see his little mouth opening and taking in a breath and that's when I thought it's ok, he's going to be ok.

"I know the family and the granddad came over and said he's out of intensive care now and on the ward.

"The poor mother, she'll probably never get over something like that, it's your worst nightmare."

A spokesman for Avon and Somerset Police said: "Police were called to the harbour in Watchet at 8.17am this morning to reports of a baby in the water.

"It is believed a gust of wind blew the buggy with the child in it into the water.

"Local fisherman rescued the six month old boy and he was airlifted to hospital for treatment.

"The condition of the baby is believed to be no longer life-threatening."

Speaking to ITV's Daybreak this morning, Mr Reeder laughed at suggestions that he was a "hero", adding: "I'm just the fella that jumped in. I am just glad I could help."

Last night the baby's relatives said Sam was believed to be recovering well in hospital.

Speaking at the family's home in Watchet, Sam's grandmother, Elaine Stevens, 57, told the Daily Mirror: "The doctors are not so worried about him now, but he did get some dirty water in his lungs.

"They are treating him for that. He's not quite out of the woods yet, but the signs are he's going to be OK."