Mum thanks hero kids

THANKS a million! That's the message today from a relieved Suffolk mum to the children who saved her son who was trapped on mudflats beside the River Orwell.

THANKS a million! That's the message today from a relieved Suffolk mum to the children who saved her son who was trapped on mudflats beside the River Orwell.

It is thought the 24-year-old man, of east Ipswich, may have fallen around 150 feet from the top of the Orwell Bridge on May 31.

Today, as he recovers at home from his multiple injuries, his mother praised the quick-thinking actions of the youngsters who discovered him.

She said: "If it wasn't for them my son would have drowned because the tide was coming in quite rapidly.

"If I saw them I think I'd give them a huge hug. I can't even begin to tell them how grateful I am.

"The emergency services and Ipswich Hospital were brilliant too. They saved his life."

Most Read

Police, fire, ambulance and coastguards were all involved in the rescue operation near Pond Hall Farm, in Gainsborough Lane, Ipswich.

The man, who was drifting in and out of consciousness, was discovered face-down in the mud at about 9.30am on June 1.

Initially, he told rescuers he had been the victim of an assault and had been left on the shore overnight.

But since the incident, he has been unable to recall details of the circumstances surrounding it.

It is thought he may have been on the mudflats for as long as ten hours, with the last contact made with his ex-girlfriend at 10.55pm the previous day.

His relationship with his partner of two years, with whom he has a 16-month-old girl, had recently broken down.

His mother said this had caused him to be feeling "down" and has since led to him moving back home with her and her younger son.

Although now facing a long recovery from a broken shin and internal bruising suffered in the incident, the office worker and keen football fan is now looking to the future.

He has been out of hospital since June 11 and is currently on crutches.

His mother said: "He's recovering slowly and is still in a lot of pain, which is understandable, but he's hoping to get back to some sort of normality. He's lucky he didn't kill himself or even break his neck.

"His job has been kept open for him and he's got to focus on the rest of his life and his little girl now."

His mother, who has been juggling a full-time job while nursing her son, said she is now slowly recovering from the ordeal herself.

She said: "Some days are better than others. The hardest thing was seeing him just after he had been operated on. It was awful, I thought he was dead.

"I had been strong up until then but just seeing his face was the hardest thing I had to do. "

The woman, who is divorced from her son's father, who is now remarried, said the tragic circumstances had brought the family closer together.

She said: "Until this happened, I hadn't spoken to my son's father for a number of years. Now we're pulling together as a family to help our son."

A spokesman for the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents said: "Normally people do die in these circumstances. Luck can play a big part as to what the surface was underneath, but just falling from a few feet can kill you if you land on your head.

"It would appear to be very unusual to survive a fall like that."

Suffolk police spokeswoman Anna Woolnough said: "We're continuing to investigate the circumstances surrounding this matter and if anyone can help we would like them to contact us."

If you have information which would help the inquiry, telephone Suffolk Constabulary on 01473 613500.

nDo you know the children who found the man? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail or join the forum at

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