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Man saves drowning 2 year old from a canal

What Happened
Person overboard/swept away/fell in the water
What Caused
Human factor
Casualty type/Qty
Causal Factors
Near miss
Injury Details
Near miss

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Description of Incident
A man who jumped into a canal to save a drowning two-year-old has been named Leicester's Citizen of the Month. David Hamer, 24, pulled Michael Butler to safety from the Grand Union Canal, in Birstall, despite not being able to swim himself. Councillor Hall said: "I think it was amazing what David did.

"He was very brave and heroic in saving the life of this youngster who was quite clearly in trouble.

"When I heard about this story I was very keen that David should have some sort of civic recognition."

David pulled the youngster out of the water and returned him to his terrified mother, Gemma, on dry land.

Gemma, 24, from Belgrave, who is also a non-swimmer, said she was happy David's heroics were being celebrated.

She said: "He is a hero. He went in and he got Michael out of the water and I had been terrified that Michael was going to drown.

"Michael is perfect now no bruises or anything."

She said there was another man on the bank who helped that day but who had not wanted to be named publicly.

She said: "There was another man who was involved.

"After David got Michael out of the water the other man gave Michael CPR. They were both absolutely brilliant and I'm so grateful to them."

The rescue happened on Tuesday, July 6, on a towpath near to the Outdoor Pursuits Centre in Loughborough Road, Belgrave, Leicester.

The youngster slipped into the canal while moving out of the way of a passing cyclist.

Gemma, who was with her three other children, Aiden, five, Lucy, four, and Leon, eight months, screamed and David, who was nearby, leaped into the water.

Doctors told Gemma that Michael was probably seconds from death when David jumped in.

David said he managed to "bounce" along the bottom of the canal before he grabbed Michael and held him above his head and waded back to the bank.

The second man gave Michael CPR and it took a further four minutes before he finally started breathing.

David said: "I didn't really think about it. I whipped off my trainers and went in.

"I wasn't expecting the water to be so deep. It went over my head.

"I managed to bounce along the bottom until I reached the boy and held him above my head, holding my breath under the water until I reached the side.

After two days in Leicester Royal Infirmary, Michael was discharged "fit and well".
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