Brave mum dives in to rescue drowning toddler

A mother who leapt into a murky canal to rescue a drowning toddler said she acted instinctively after seeing the boy lying face down in the water.

The two-year-old from Northampton had wandered away from his parents, who had travelled to the Sea Life Centre, in Birmingham, for a family day out with the Camrose Centre Sure Start group.

He was spotted bobbing up and down in the canal by Ann-Marie Bailey, from Banbury, who immediately dived into the water to try to drag him out despite barely being able to see him in the dirty water.

Mrs Bailey, aged 36, who was visiting the Sea Life Centre with her seven-year-old son Ethan, added: "It was just human instinct to jump straight in.

"Another few seconds and he would have completely disappeared making it impossible for me to find him. I had no time to think about my own safety because it was so frantic, it only lasted two or three minutes.

"Anybody would have done the same in my situation."

Although the boy's family did not want to be identified, a spokesman for the Camrose Centre said they sent flowers to Mrs Bailey for her help and the boy's parents "thanked her deeply for rescuing their son".

She said: "The trip was for parents and their children. Members of Camrose staff were available for additional support, but parents were responsible for their own children.

"During this trip, a child fell into the canal next to the Sea Life Centre.

"A passer-by saw the incident and immediately jumped in and rescued the boy.

"Members of the Camrose staff examined the boy and on his return to Northampton he was medically examined at hospital, as a precaution, and was given a clean bill of health.

"The Camrose Sure Start Centre takes health and safety very seriously and all health and safety procedures were followed in relation to this trip."