Wigan family's grateful thanks for woman who rescued daughter from river

The family of a Wigan toddler who almost drowned at a popular Lancashire tourist spot have met up with the “guardian angel” who saved their daughter’s life.
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Susan McDonald swam into the river and plucked unconscious three-year-old Hayaa Mazaleen from the fast flowing current, saving her life.

The rescue at the Crook O’ Lune earlier this month has prompted Hayaa’s family, who live in Wigan, to warn of the dangerous water at the beauty spot.

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It was the family’s first trip to the area, and they said they weren’t aware of the deep water and fast flowing current, as there were no warning signs they could see.

Susan McDonald with Hayaa and her familySusan McDonald with Hayaa and her family
Susan McDonald with Hayaa and her family

The three-year-old fell into the river and floated face down for 200m before Susan, who is a trained lifeguard, swam in and plucked her out of the water, giving her CPR until she started to breathe again.

Susan was only there as she had met up with family half way between Manchester, where she lives, and Whitehaven, where her family live.

Hayaa’s father Annas, who had initially tried to go into the water after his daughter, said the family was “so lucky” that Susan had been there.

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It is understood he had turned his back for a few seconds on a small beach area below the Crook O’ Lune bridge.

He said: “It was the first time we’d been there, and it was very dangerous.

“There weren’t any signs to tell us that it was dangerous.

“We are speaking out because we don’t want this to happen to any other children.

“We were so lucky that Susan was there.

“We had lost hope that we could get my daughter back as the water was so fast.

“I can’t thank Susan enough for what she did.

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“She was a guardian angel. It was a very good thing to meet her.

“We thanked her and gave her a present for what she did.”

Susan added: “It was a relief to see her smiling face and her being a normal child again. It was lovely to meet the rest of the family as she has an older brother and sister.”