Monday, January 6, 2014
A GRAtefUL pensioner is hoping to track down a mystery mum who saved his pet dog from a raging River Sid and then vanished.
Aubrey Bailey, 88, feared the worst when his elderley canine companion, Rocky, went for a paddle in The Byes, but was overcome by the water and washed away at an alarming speed.
An unknown woman rescued the stricken collie from the fast-flowing torrent - despite having two children in a pushchair and her own dog in tow.
She disappeared before relieved grandfather-of-one Aubrey could thank her properly.
He said the woman arrived out of nowhere ‘like Batman’ and described her actions as ‘extremely brave and selfless’.
Aubrey, who lives in Hampshire but visits his step-daughter Angela Rose and her husband Michael in Sidmouth every Christmas, said: “It all happened so fast - just a few frightening minutes from beginning to end.”
He described how the river hurtled 12-year-old Rocky away ‘at a good 20 miles per hour’ and eventually left his four-legged friend clinging to a rock downstream at the bottom of an eight-foot bank.
“I’m 88 and there is no way I could have saved him myself,” said Aubrey. “I would have tried to get down and would probably have broken my legs.
“This lovely, young lady with two children in a pushchair and a dog shouted ‘watch my pram and the dog’ and in a split second leapt down to the water level, grabbed Rocky’s collar - and dragged him out.
“I was so grateful, but our saviour made light of it, and went on her way.
“I have pinned a notice on the bridge, hoping she will identify herself, because I would like to thank her more appropriately.”
Aubrey said the woman was around 25 years of age and had dark hair.
He added that Rocky was no worse for his adventure – and even wanted to go back in the river the next day.
The incident happened on December 23.