Hero teenager dives into canal to save drowning 15-month-old boy

·3-min read
Rylan Ferguson, 15, holding little Reggie after saving him from drowning in a canal (Picture: SWNS)
Rylan Ferguson, 15, holding little Reggie after saving him from drowning in a canal. (SWNS)

A 15-year-old boy has been hailed as a “guardian angel” after jumping into a canal to save a toddler from drowning.

Ryley Ferguson was walking his two dogs in Knottingley, West Yorkshire, on 3 May when he spotted little Reggie falling into the water while out on his own.

The teenager immediately threw off his shoes and coat and dived in to save the 15-month-old who was sinking to the bottom of the canal.

Ryley said he didn’t hesitate because he knew Reggie’s life was on the line.

Read more: Dutch restaurant trials glass cubes for diners to keep distance after lockdown

Reggie Hampton was saved after he fell into a canal (Picture: SWNS)
Reggie Hampton was saved after he fell into a canal (Picture: SWNS)

Ryley, from Knottingley, said: “It all happened in a split second and suddenly I was at the bottom of the canal and managed to grab him.

“I was pretty calm I think but I was flustered as the water was so cold and my heart was racing.”

He added: “If I wasn’t there, if I walked by just 30 seconds later, he could have died. I had to save him.”

Ryley struggled to get out of the canal as he was holding the toddler, but after he shouted for help two men pulled them out of the water.

Once they got out, Reggie began to cry but Ryley said he calmed down after he reassured him, saying, “don’t worry, I got you”.

Read more: Coronavirus lockdown could be eased from Monday, Boris Johnson confirms

Mum Rebecca Hampton, 33, with Reggie (Picture: SWNS)
Mum Rebecca Hampton, 33, with Reggie. (SWNS)

Reggie’s mum Rebecca Hampton, 33, has called Ryley their “guardian angel” after she was reunited with her son moments after he was saved.

She thought Reggie was in the house while she was working in the garden, but the adventurous boy had wandered into the canal, which runs behind their home.

The single mum-of-two says their families now share a “bond for life” and that Reggie will grow up knowing what Ryley did.

Latest coronavirus news, updates and advice

Live: Follow all the latest updates from the UK and around the world

Fact-checker: The number of COVID-19 cases in your local area

6 charts and maps that explain how COVID-19 is spreading

Hampton, from Knottingley, said: “I keep saying Ryley is our guardian angel, he saved my boy and saved my life.

“Reggie will grow up knowing who Ryley is and what he’s done. He’s our superhero.”

She added: “I can’t tell you the relief I felt when I saw my beautiful boy.

“I can’t thank Ryley enough, I gave him a card with some money but no money in the world will ever cover what he’s done for me.”

Ruby Ferguson 12, Amy, 35, Michael, 38, and hero Ryley, 15 (Picture: SWNS)
Ruby Ferguson, 12, Amy, 35, Michael, 38, and hero Ryley, 15. (SWNS)

Ryley’s mum Amy, 38, said she’s proud of her son and she couldn’t imagine what would have happened had he not been there.

His dad Michael, 38, also said he was proud of his brave son.

A neighbour has set up a GoFundMe page to raise funds for Ryley but the teenager has refused to take any money and asked people to donate it to the NHS instead.

Rebecca has launched a campaign for Ryley to be given a Pride of Britain award for saving her son.

Coronavirus: what happened today?

Click here to sign up to the latest news, advice and information with our daily Catch-up newsletter

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting