Ran Down Six Flights of Stairs To Rescue Boy

August 1951

South Yorkshire Times, August 25th, 1951

Ran Down Six Flights of Stairs To Rescue Boy

“We can’t do anything” said a workmate of Mr. James Edward Downing, as they saw a young boy fall into the canal from where they were working 65 feet up on the top floor of Mexborough Power station on Monday.

Twenty-four-years old Mr. Downing, of 11, Loversall Street, Denaby, was not so sure and, turning from the widow from which they had witnessed the accident, he dashed down six flights of stairs; ran 200 yards; vaulted a four foot wall; yelled to another workmate “There’s a kid in the canal”; dived fully clothed into the water; swam to the other side; grabbed the boy; applied artificial respiration for ten minutes until he got him round: and then returned to the Power Station for a hot shower.

The boy, seven-years-old Corrin Carlin, son of Mr. and Mrs. W. E. Carlin of 5, Pitt Street, Mexborough, had been playing with two six-year-old friends, Clive North of Benita Avenue, Mexborough, and David Bisset of Doncaster Road and, when they were passing under the road bridge which spans the canal, Corrin slipped in.

Asked if the shock of the cold water affected him, Mr. Downing explained that even with his clothes on it felt warm.   He said that he never thought of taking anything off, not even his shoes, but, as he dived in his cap flew off and fell on the bank.

Fred Moxon, of Hartley Street, Mexborough, who joined Downing, also applied artificial respiration.  Corrin was admitted to Mexborough Montagu Hospital, but was allowed to go home on Wednesday.

Yesterday, his mother said, “We are going on holiday to Cleethorpes on Saturday and Corrin will have two weeks in which to learn to swim.”