A WOMAN who was rescued after a freak wave hit her at Barry’s Knap 25 years ago, was this week reunited for the first time with the man who saved her life.
Clare Savory, now 41, had tried to put the episode behind her - but on seeing her story reprinted in the memories section of the Barry & District News in September, she realised that she had never thanked her rescuers.
After an appeal in the paper to find Ken Townsend - the man who jumped in and pulled the unconscious Clare from the water all those years ago – his son Neil, who was also involved in the rescue, made contact.
He was reunited with Clare this week, for the first time in 25 years, and told her the dramatic story of her rescue.
Speaking to Clare, Neil said: "We were fishing near a group of youngsters and the water was choppy, and then we noticed that you were in the water."
While Clare could remember falling into the water, her next memory was of waking up in hospital where she had to recover from her serious injuries – she even had to learn to walk again.
Neil told Clare: "We knew it was serious because Dad sent me to run for help because I was younger and fitter, but he was a better swimmer and went in looking for you.
“When I came back he was still looking for you – he went down one last time and caught you by your pony tail – you were spinning like a top."
Clare needed to have her heart started and Ken, who had jumped into the water despite being asthmatic, also took weeks to recover from the rescue. Neil said: "Dad was quite ill for weeks after, but I’m sure he would have agreed it was worth it."
Sadly Ken Townsend has since dies, but Neil was pleased to accept Clare’s thanks on his father’s behalf.
Clare told Neil: "You are heroes for me – I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for your help and your father for rescuing me.
“I’d like to think I would help someone in the same situation."
Neil added: "The last we saw of Clare, we were putting her in the ambulance and that was 25 years ago – she is looking a lot better now!"