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Teenagers appeal to find 'hero' strangers who saved family from drowning in Lake District

·2-min read

A teenager is appealing to find the strangers who saved him, his younger cousin and his uncle from drowning in the Lake District last week. 

Mahmood Desai, 15, and Muhammad Namaji, 12, were on a family day out when they began to struggle in the waters of Windermere at around 6pm on Thursday 22 July.

After his uncle attempted to save the pair and also got into difficulty, a couple on the beach "did not hesitate to come help".

He posted a plea on social media, hoping to find the kind strangers and "show my gratitude to them".

Mahmood said he and his cousin were swimming together on a family day out when "the lake suddenly got deeper".

After Muhammad realised he could not touch the bottom, he began to panic and grip on to Mahmood.

"I am a confident swimmer, but I began to struggle with the weight of him and the strong current pushing us down," he said.

Watch: Safe swimming: The dangers, what to look out for and what to do in an emergency

Mahmood said a man jumped into the water and rescued his cousin, while a woman told him to hold hands with his uncle and dragged the pair safely to shore.

"My mum was just screaming for help," Mahmood said.

"Everyone was just in shock. We gave them some of our biscuits and juice, but we realised afterwards we did not ask them for their contact details or their names and we really want to thank them personally."

The teenager from Preston said he later realised how lucky an escape he had after reading that four people had drowned in Loch Lomond over the weekend.

"I have swum in lakes before, but the current was just too strong," he said

"It made me think I would not have been here if the couple hadn't been on the beach at the same time."

Edina Olahova, 29, and Rana Haris Ali lost their lives alongside their friend Muhammad Asim Riaz, 41, near Pulpit Rock in Loch Lomond on Saturday evening, while in a separate incident Connor Markward, 16, died on Friday evening.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said the tragedies were "a reminder that the beauty of some of our waters belies the dangers they hold".

A senior officer from Scottish Fire and Rescue Service said last weekend was one of the worst in memory for the service.

Alasdair Perry urged those swimming in open water to adhere to safety advice, not to leave young people unattended, and to ensure they do not swim after consuming alcohol.

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