A WOMAN who was swept away by a freak wave at Barry’s Knap 25 years ago to the day wants to publicly thank the man who saved her.

The dramatic sea rescue of 15-year-old Clare Savory was featured in the memories section of the Barry and District News earlier this month.

The paper described how asthma sufferer Keith Townsend stripped to his underwear and jumped in to save her – but Clare said the real story was far more harrowing.

Clare, now 41, said: "I was playing on the rocks when the wave knocked me in. All I remember is thinking that I was going to die."

Clare was unconscious when she was pulled from the water, as she had hit her head against rocks.

When she woke in hospital she was told that her heart had been injected with lifesaving drugs.

Due to problems with her legs she had to learn to walk again, and said that it took years to rebuild her confidence.

"I had a lot of physical injuries which took a long time to recover from," said Clare.

"I became shy for a long time – I think from the shock of it all.

"To see it in the paper again did bring it all back, but I was struck by how many stories I read where kids are still playing there.

"It is so dangerous."

Thankfully Clare eventually made a full recovery and is now married with a son and lives in Churchfields in the town.

"Seeing the story on the memories page made me realise that because of the man who rescued me, I am still here and have gone on to have a family," she added.

"Because I was shy and embarrassed at the time, I didn’t get a chance to thank him properly – so if he or his family are reading this, thank you so much."