Drone footage shows dramatic moment 11-year-old girl saved from frozen river

Dramatic drone footage has been released of an 11-year-old girl being rescued from the River Trent after she and her friend became trapped.

The other girl, also aged 11, fell through the ice into the freezing water before the alarm was raised by a passer-by. The other made it to an island but was stranded with no way back over the broken ice.

Nottinghamshire Police, Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service and East Midlands Ambulance Service all worked to rescue the girls who were near to St Mary's Church, Holgate, on Saturday, February 13. 

The first girl was able to be supported in walking out the water as she was closer to the edge. To rescue the second girl, crews had to use an inflatable piece of equipment to bring her safely back across the frozen water. The girls - who were unharmed but extremely cold - were then left in the care of the ambulance service.

The incident was just a few hundred metres away from the area where 12-year-old Owen Jenkins tragically died after being dragged under by a strong current while trying to rescue two friends who had got into difficulty in the water at Beeston Weir in July 2017. Owen's mum Nicola also spoke out today following yesterday's incident.

The incident was a few hundred metres away from where Owen Jenkins died in July 2017. He tried to save two friends who were in the water. Credit: Family handout

Nicola Jenkins, who founded the Open Water Education Network (OWEN) water safety programme in her son Owen’s memory after his death, urged children to stay away from the River Trent and for parents to speak to their youngsters about the dangers.

"When it comes to ice children don't seem to see the danger. They just think it is a bit of fun," she said.

"A lot of the ice looks thick but it isn't. Where the water is shallow it can be thick but when it gets deeper it is thin and that's where the difficulty lies and you can become stranded. 

"There is no point even trying it because we don't have thick ice like in some countries. It is best to stay away - it is not worth the risk.

"Parents need to be more open with their children and explain the dangers of open water and ice in cold weather. Even on the hottest days the water is really dangerous but cold water shock can be really quick to take hold."

Chief Inspector Duncan Southall, of Nottinghamshire Police, said: 

"They could easily have drowned or suffered from hypothermia had it not been for the fact this person was able to call the police, fire and ambulance service colleagues who got there quickly to rescue them.

"I hope this serves as a stark reminder to others that it is not safe to play on the ice as it can easily crack and put people in great danger. Icy water can be incredibly dangerous.

"This happened very close to where another tragedy happened just over three years ago. It is really important that people stay away from the river as we don't want other families to suffer the same devastation of losing a loved one."

David Stevenson, group manager at Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service, said:

“We have seen a number of people playing on frozen water over the past few days and we want to reiterate how dangerous this is.

“Running, walking or playing on frozen water can pose a huge risk of life. The ice may appear thicker than it is, and can end in a serious incident.

“Luckily for us, the girls were rescued and are ok, however this will not be the case for everyone.

“You can very quickly develop hypothermia from cold weather conditions. Immediately after falling into water, your movements are likely to be impaired due to the cold, and it is likely that you will be gasping due to the shock of the temperature. We cannot emphasise enough that cold water shock can turn into tragedy very quickly.

“If you are out and about in these icy conditions, please ensure you stick to roads and pathways, and stay away from the water’s edge.”