A heroic model bravely abandoned a photo-shoot and dived into a river to save a drowning woman.
Natalie Harrison, 36, was taking part in a shoot on the River Thames when her daughter saw a head floating by in the river.
The courageous mum-of-two leapt into action, diving off the edge of the riverbank to rescue the woman from the fast-moving water, The Sun reports.
The last time me and James [the photographer] met up we did an amazing shoot at the South Bank so we thought we’d go back.
We went to the end of the pier to sit down and wait for the boat, and the water looked horrendous, it was really choppy.
James said ‘if anyone ended up in there they’d be a goner’ and I was agreeing with him, like ‘yeah, totally’ and then we were talking about all the diseases in the Thames.
They then heard their daughter shouting ‘help, help,’ who explained she’d seen a girl’s head moving by in the river.
The pair then ran to the bank and James threw out a life-ring to the drowning woman.
Unfortunately, James missed the girl, forcing quick thinking Natalie to run to another life-ring to save the woman.
I went to toss it at her and I just realised it was not going to go near her.
So I jumped over the side of the pier, grabbed onto the side and dangled myself down until my feet were on this chain, hanging into the water, and I managed to get my arm round this wire rope around the top and I hung on to that, and got her to grab onto the actual life ring.Advertisement
The drowning girl, believed to be in her twenties, had apparently turned a ‘dreadful colour’ and was coughing and spluttering as the river tried to pull her back under the water.
Thankfully, Natalie managed to hook the drowning woman by her bra strap and held on until the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) arrived and pulled the pair out of the water.
They were then taken to the RNLI station at Waterloo Bridge, where the young woman was taken to casualty.
Steve King, a lifeboat helmsman at RNLI has praised Natalie for her action saying the woman in the river may not have survived, saying what she did was ‘risky, but utterly selfless and an incredible act of public service’.