Line of heroes in canal drama

A line of heroes helped to save the life of a 77-year-old woman.

Winifred Cartwright was walking her dog, Ben, along the canal near The Moorings pub in Sowerby Bridge when she lost her balance and fell in.

A cyclist rushed round to her aid and jumped in. He lifted her head out of the water and held on to her until further help arrived.

“The ground was a bit uneven and I stumbled and lost my balance, because there wasn’t enough space to regain it. Falling in was the worst thing that could happen to me because I can’t swim,” said Winifred who lives in Rishworth. “I was in the water for 20 minutes but the cyclist was holding me up for most of the time. I couldn’t see him and I didn’t know who it was but he was talking to me and keeping my head up. I just kept asking where is my dog.

“I kept thinking this is the end until John got hold of me.”

The cyclist, known as John, was unable to lift Winifred on to the bank and he held her there until doorman Peter Clarke arrived with a rope. After realising the rope wasn’t going to help, Peter jumped into the water and helped to pull the duo out.

The pair were taken to Calderdale Royal Infirmary and Winifred was kept in overnight. “I would like to thank all the people who were in anyway involved in my ordeal. My heroes and the people who looked after my dog, other helpers on the bank, the ambulance staff, accident and emergency staff and my neighbours who looked after Ben and my family who cared for me,” she said.