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Safety plea after girl's rescue

PUBLISHED: 11:45 06 November 2009 | UPDATED: 15:06 06 July 2010

A woman has called for waterfront safety measures to be installed at Oulton Broad after she saved a nine-year-old girl from drowning.

Anne Ronald, of Evergreen Road, Lowestoft, went to the rescue of Roman Hill Middle School pupil Jessica McCann after she slipped into the broad.

A woman has called for waterfront safety measures to be installed at Oulton Broad after she saved a nine-year-old girl from drowning.

Anne Ronald, of Evergreen Road, Lowestoft, went to the rescue of Roman Hill Middle School pupil Jessica McCann after she slipped into the broad.

She now believes something has to be done to prevent a future tragedy happening at the scene of the drama.

Jessica was feeding the ducks with her sister Chelsea, 13, when she slipped on algae.

Unable to regain her balance on the slipway, she was in grave danger before Anne, a friend of the family, dashed to her aid.

“She went to pick up some bread, slipped and slid into the water,” said Anne, 66, who was able to sit on the water's edge and pull Jessica out.

“I held on to her side but was up and down three times as she couldn't get her balance. If my feet were in the algae we'd both have been in.”

“There is nothing to hold on to here, and if I hadn't have come she would have drowned.”

Jessica, whose initial reaction was that swans in the area were going to attack her, was grateful to her rescuer.

Anne said: “I think they should have some sort of sign or gates here, as a lot are tempted to go forward to feed the ducks.

“When the water is low, it is slippery and dangerous.

“I was told another boy had slipped in and went up to his neck. It does get deep very quickly.”

The slipway, which is situated between Waveney River Tours and Waveney and Oulton Broad Yacht Club, is believed to be the responsibility of Waveney District Council, but nobody at the council was available to comment.


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