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River Trent canoe rescue after boat owner slips on ice

07 February 12 20:16
Ken Jackson and Richard Ramsdale

A narrowboat owner who slipped into the River Trent has said he owes his life to a canoeist who pulled him out.

Richard Ramsdale, a coach for Canoe England, was paddling near Colwick Marina by chance because the stretch of water he planned to use had frozen.

He found 74-year-old Ken Jackson "clinging on for dear life" after he slipped off his boat's narrow and icy ledge while fixing a chimney on Monday.

East Midlands Ambulance Service said he could have drowned or had hypothermia.

Mr Jackson said: "I was just shouting, screaming 'help, help' and hanging on to the rope.

"I was panicking. I thought I was going to go down under."

'Bit of a commotion'

Mr Jackson, who has owned a boat for more than 40 years, was starting to lose consciousness when Mr Ramsdale paddled past.

"I don't normally train on this side of the river," said Mr Ramsdale.

"I heard a bit of a commotion and then found Ken clinging on for dear life at the back of his boat."

Mr Jackson said he had fallen in the water a few times before but not in such cold conditions.

He added: "I was just going numb, and numb and numb, and I was ready to go under."

After pulling him out of the water, Mr Ramsdale helped Mr Jackson warm up inside the boat and handed him dry clothes.

East Midlands Ambulance Service attended but Mr Jackson did not need to go to hospital.

"He saved my life," said Mr Jackson.

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