Fisherman saves pensioner's life

PENSIONER Fred Evenett today owes his life to a heroic fisherman who saved him from drowning in a Suffolk lake.Mark Snowling, 38, dived into the water at Suffolk Water Park when 82-year-old Mr Evenett who cannot swim, slipped and plunged into the lake.

PENSIONER Fred Evenett today owes his life to a heroic fisherman who saved him from drowning in a Suffolk lake.

Mark Snowling, 38, dived into the water at Suffolk Water Park when 82-year-old Mr Evenett who cannot swim, slipped and plunged into the lake.

Mr Snowling, of Bramfield Avenue, Hadleigh told how his instinct kicked in as he spotted his elderly friend face down in the lake ten metres from the edge.

He said as soon as he saw Mr Evenett in the water he threw his fishing gear down and dived in after him.

He added: “I got hold of him and pulled him up, he started to cough and splutter and to my relief he was breathing.

“I just did what anybody else would have done, it's an instinct.”

Most Read

Mr Evenett of Polstead, near Hadleigh, went to the Suffolk Water Park, Bramford last Sunday to visit his friends who were fishing, but accidentally lost his footing and slipped, falling into the river.

He said: “I just turned round and put my foot forward and there was nothing there, and of course, I'm 82 and I've had four heart attacks in the last eight years and I can't swim.”

Despite being a keen fisherman, who once owned his own boat, Mr Evenett has never learned to swim and he struggled to stay afloat before sinking deep down to the bottom of the river.

He said: “I tried to get myself off the bottom of the river but the clothes I was wearing were keeping me down.

“I went right down to the bottom, about eight or ten ft deep, and I can't swim. I could see the daylight through the water above me.

“I tried to get up by moving my hands about, it was scary.

“The next thing I knew, Mark had pulled me out and put my arms around him and got me up to the top.”

Mr Evenett, who is no stranger to cheating death, having had four heart attacks in the past, says he is lucky to be alive and has been thinking about his near death experience ever since.

He also said he now wishes he had learned to swim all those years ago as a boy.

He said: “They never had any swimming pools or anything where I grew up so I never learned, it's funny really because I've always loved water.”

Miraculously, Mr Evenett was able to drive himself home only 20 minutes after nearly drowning.

Mr Snowling said: “It's as if he woke up, he was totally active again.”

Have you ever saved someone's life? Have you ever had a near death experience?

Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter