Policeman reunited with boy he rescued from Saltford lock
Published on: 22 Aug 2014
A policeman who dived into Saltford lock to rescue a nine-year-old has been reunited with the boy and his grateful family.
PC Ryan Day, a patrol officer in South Gloucestershire, was off duty and had stopped off at the village's Jolly Sailor pub after an evening boating with friends.
Leo Worlock, from Stockwood, was also at the pub, celebrating a relative's 40th birthday on July 18, and had gone outside with his cousin Will, 14, and their grandmother.
As he crossed the walkway over the lock gate, Leo lost his footing and plunged 8ft into the water below - and PC Day, who was sitting in the beer garden, leapt straight into action.
He said: "My police training kicked in automatically, in situations where most people would run away we are trained to go forward.
"I had seen the two lads running around, saw Leo lose his footing and I was closest to him.
"I got hold of him and he wasn't panicking, he was very calm, and we swam in together."
PC Day's friends also ran to help, with James Long closing the lock gates to slow the flow of water and Terry Difford throwing Leo a life ring.
Leo, a Waycroft Academy pupil who managed to tread water until PC Day reached him, said: "I was shocked and I couldn't really swim as there was lots of stuff in the water and a lot of mud."
He was reunited with his rescuer at the scene of the incident on August 21 after his dad, Gary, 43, wrote to PC Day's bosses at Avon and Somerset Police to praise his actions.
Mr Worlock said: "He was a hero. We were all shocked by the accident and then after I thought, 'All I did was buy him a pint and he was dripping wet!'
"It was the least I could do. People are too quick to slate the police and not quick enough to congratulate them or say thanks."
In his letter, Mr Worlock said: “Myself and my family were having a meal at the pub. The next event was life-changing for all of us as our nine-year-old son Leo fell eight feet into the lock. Without any hesitation a man by the name of Ryan Day jumped in and pulled him to safety. We were all very grateful to him. Myself and my family will never forget what he has done.”
PC Day hadn't told his collegues of the events that day so said he was surprised when his sergeant asked him what had happened, but pleased to hear about the letter.
South Gloucestershire Police Superintendent Richard Cadden said: “Ryan typically makes light of this but it shows his commitment to keeping people safe, whether on duty or not. We’re very grateful to Mr Worlock for taking the trouble to write in and we will certainly be recognising Ryan’s actions.”