Teenage Hero Saves Toddler From Drowning In Canal
A West Yorkshire teenager has been called a 'guardian angel' after he jumped into a canal to save a drowning toddler.
Ryley Ferguson, 15, was walking his two dogs last Sunday when he spotted the unaccompanied little boy falling into the canal.
Thinking on his feet, Ryley threw his coat and shoes off and jumped in to save 15-month-old Reggie, who was sinking fast.
The electrical apprentice, from Knottingley, West Yorkshire, said he didn't think twice about jumping in.
Ryley said: "I'm just so happy I was there and managed to dive in, in time to save him. I didn't have time to think, I was just on my walk with my dogs when I saw him fall in.
"I took my shoes and my coat off and dove in - it was pure instinct at that point.
"It all happened in a split second and suddenly I was at the bottom of the canal and managed to grab him.
"I was pretty calm, I think, but I was flustered as the water was so cold and my heart was racing. But in the end all that mattered was that he was okay."
The brave teen added: "If I wasn't there, if I walked by just 30 seconds later, he could have died. I had to save him."
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He yelled for help as he was holding the toddler up in the water, and two men who were passing by ran to their aid.
When they were out, terrified Reggie began crying, but Ryley said he calmed him down, telling him: "Don't worry, I got you."
Reggie's mum, Rebecca Hampton, 33, was reunited with her son just after he was saved, and said she thought the little boy was in the house while she was in the garden - but he'd gone to the canal which runs behind their home.
Rebecca said: "I keep saying Ryley is our guardian angel, he saved my boy and saved my life.
"Reggie will grow up knowing who Ryley is and what he's done. He's our superhero. A neighbour had rushed into our house and said Reggie was in the canal.
"The world stopped for me at that moment, I was in complete shock. I started shouting for him, it must have been a couple minutes at most but it felt like an eternity.
"I can't tell you the relief I felt when I saw my beautiful boy.
"I can't thank Ryley enough, I gave him a card with some money but no money in the world will ever cover what he's done for me."
An inspired neighbour has set up a Gofundme page to raise funds for Ryley but the teenager has refused to take any money and asked people to donate it to the NHS instead.
Rebecca has launched a campaign for Ryley to be given a Pride of Britain award for saving her son.
Featured Image Credit: SWNS