Woman gets trapped in River Soar trying to save her dog

By Olivia Mumby

A woman has described her frightening ordeal after becoming trapped in the River Soar when she fell in trying to rescue her dog.

Tracy Julian had taken her dog, Tilly, for a walk along their usual route along a stretch of the River Soar in Birstall, when she noticed her pet had disappeared.

Tracy said: “I looked back and called her. Nothing. I called again and still nothing, then I noticed bubbles in the water.

“I ran to the edge and there she was, panicking. She kept popping up to breathe, then disappearing.

“I got on my knees to try and grab her collar but the current kept moving her away. She just kept going under.”

Desperately trying to save her beloved pet, Tracy leaned far over the river’s edge.

“I put my arm out to grab her,” she continued. “I could feel myself slipping down the embankment and in the end, I was in the water with her.

“All I could think about was getting Tilly out. She was drowning. She kept doggy paddling but she wasn’t moving, so I grabbed her and put her on my knees. She used them as a step to jump out.”

It was only then that Tracy realised the danger she was in: “Once she was out then I realised I was stuck. The current kept pulling me away.

“The water was high, I couldn’t touch the bottom. Only then it hits you, right there, I’ve got to get out ASAP.

“I rang my husband but he was 40 minutes away, which was too long.”

It was 7.30am last Thursday morning when Tracy fell into the river and she had to spend 15 minutes in the cold water before help arrived, from Elliot Franklin, who was on his way to work.

Tracy said: “Elliot was the first person I saw cycling towards where I was.

“I shouted first and he asked if I was okay. I told him what had happened and he said, ‘you poor thing.’

“I told him I couldn’t touch the bottom and he said he would try to pull me up until I could swing my legs out.

“It was hard as I was fully clothed and when your clothes are that wet you feel so heavy.

“Finally, he grabbed my legs and I was out. I just sat on the verge thanking him.”

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