05/06/2014 07:31 BST | Updated 05/06/2014 10:59 BST

Rowers Dramatically Dive Into River To Save Baby, After Pram Rolled Off Quayside (PICTURES)

This was the dramatic moment a baby who fell into a river after her pram rolled off a quayside was saved by a passing rowing team.

The little girl's mother was watching a boating event in Exeter, Devon, when the buggy suddenly tumbled into the water.

As the woman screamed out in horror, members of the British Dragon Boat Racing Association dashed over to help.

Victor Martinez, 51, dived down and hauled the one-year-old to the surface still strapped into the sunken pram.

pram river rescue

The rowers pull the baby, still strapped to the pram, and the mother from the river

He then pulled the child's mother, who had leapt in herself, to the quayside so they were unharmed.

Mr Martinez was in Exeter as part of the British Dragon Boat race on Sunday.


He said: "I was standing on the side with other members of my team The Raging Dragons when I heard a deafening scream.

"At first I wondered why the woman was so worried about a pram, but then I saw the baby girl’s arms flailing on both sides of the buggy.

“I didn’t think about it, I just ran and dived straight in the water. I think I hit the water at the same time as the buggy. I didn’t think twice."

baby pram river

One of the rowers said 'I didn't think about it, I just rand and dived straight in'

He continued: "The buggy was sinking quickly and I dived down to get under it to try push it to the surface.

"It was getting heavier and heavier, and me and my teammate Stuart Menzies, who jumped in after me, where struggling to push it up.

"I thought about unstrapping the baby but I just kept thinking we have to get her to the surface quickly.

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“We managed to get her to the top and I was struggling to keep the buggy at the surface when I saw the girl’s face for the first time – she was screaming and crying.

"I looked into her eyes which were full of river water and just thought that she wasn’t going to drown today.

“I think seeing her face gave me the extra push and we managed to get the pram to the wall.”

Back on the quayside Martinez's son, also called Victor, reached down and helped to pull the buggy out while the father went back for the baby's mother.

He added: "I could still hear the mother screaming, she was in deep shock so I just went over to her and grabbed her face.

"She was shaking so much, I looked her in the eyes and told her that her baby needs her now.”

First aiders on hand for the race treated the little girl before bystander Jenny Wisson offered the mum her baby son's spare dry clothes.

She said: “I heard a bloodcurdling scream at which point I looked over and saw a few people jumping in.

"It wasn’t until I got nearer I realised it was a baby in a pushchair."

The British Dragon Boat Racing Association, who put on the event, praised the actions of the rescuers.

The baby was seen laughing and well after the rescue but was taken to hospital by her mother for a check-up.