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Colne boy lucky to be alive after dinghy capsizes
A MOTHER said she feared her son had ‘drowned’ during a frantic search of a river after his dinghy capsized.
Dog breeder Christine Campbell has spoken of her horror at having to wait for news on her 13-year-old son Gus, who fell into Colne Water at around 9pm on Thursday.
The mother-of-three, of Hawley Street, Colne ,said she started to get worried after Gus failed to return home on time.
She said: “It was like all my worse nightmares, I collapsed as the female police officer told me Gus had been knocked out of a dinghy and had been swept away down the river.
"I thought I would never see him again.”
Gus, a Colne Primet High School pupil, had got in the inflatable dinghy near Knotts Lane, Colne around 8pm.
He and two friends, aged 13 and 15, had been floating for around an hour when the dinghy hit a weir and overturned, near Philips Street, in Colne.
A dog walker spotted the trio, and alerted the emergency services.
Around 30 firefighters, a police helicopter and paramedics launched a major operation along a three mile stretch of the river.
Gus was eventually found by a policeman on the riverbank in a ‘disorientated state’ at 10.20pm.
He was taken to Royal Blackburn Hospital suffering from the affects of hypothermia.
The water rescue crew from Nelson fire station, which ran the rescue operation, said Gus was ‘amazingly lucky’ to survive.
Gus said: “As soon as I went in the water I went into shock. I banged my head and kept getting pushed under the water.
“It was very frightening.”