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Pensioner rescues boy from icy canal

Dudley | News | Published:

A pensioner rescued a 10-year-old boy from a canal in the Black Country after the youngster crashed through ice, prompting new warnings about the dangers caused by freezing weather.

A pensioner rescued a 10-year-old boy from a canal in the Black Country after the youngster crashed through ice, prompting new warnings about the dangers caused by freezing weather.

Firefighters also rescued two dogs which fell into freezing water in two incidents. And there is evidence children are ignoring the dangers of walking on a frozen lake in Wolverhampton.

Their names were found etched in the ice at the lake in West Park.

The rescue of the boy from the canal happened in Wordsley, where Brian Heathcock, aged 69, went down on to his hands and knees, reached out and struggled to pull terrified Cain Foxall on to the towpath, off Aldridge Close, just before 9am on Saturday.

Mr Heathcock, of Fairfield Rise, Wollaston, Stourbridge, then massaged the shivering boy's legs until he regained his circulation and could be taken to his home about 200 yards away from the canal in Rushall Close.

The drama happened as Mr Heathcock, a retired cable firm owner, went for a walk along the frozen-over Stourbridge Arm Canal.

"I heard the boy screaming," said Mr Heathcock.

"He was about three feet out from the side, up to his chest in water. He was sinking and really panicking.

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"I had to get down on to my hands and knees and managed to grab his hands.

"As his clothes were soaking, he was heavy to move but I pulled him a bit closer and then managed to grab his wrists to drag him up on to the towpath."

Cain's mother, Lindsey Foxall, said: "I can't thank Mr Heathcock enough — we just don't know what might have happened if he hadn't been passing."

Later on Saturday a dog had to be rescued after getting stuck in the canal off Stoney Lane in Netherton, Dudley, at 10.30am. Meanwhile, a collie named Sam was also rescued from an icy lake in Warrens Hall Park, Rowley Regis at 11.23am.

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