Heroic Model Leaves Photo Shoot To Save Drowning Woman

| by Michael Doherty
Choppy river waterChoppy river water

A model who saw a woman drowning in the River Thames stopped in the middle of a photo shoot to save her.

Natalie Harrison, 36, was in the midst of a photo shoot with photographer James Bignell in London when her daughter saw a head bobbing in the water, according to the Mirror. It didn't take long for Harrison to leap into action in full make-up and a wig.

Harrison, who is from Scotland, said that on the day of the shoot, the group was near the water, which she added looked very choppy.

"James said, 'If anyone ended up in there, they'd be a goner,' and I was agreeing with him, like 'Yeah, totally,' and then we were talking about all the diseases in the Thames," Harrison said. "So we were just sitting there chatting, when all of a sudden we heard this, 'Help, help.'"

"My daughter thought she saw a child, just literally a head, rushing past in the water, so me and James ran to the side," she said. "He pulled open the container with a life ring inside and chucked it to her but it completely missed her."

After Harrison, who was fully dressed up for the photo shoot, ran to another life ring, she realized that she wouldn't be able to toss it to the drowning woman.

"So I jumped over the side of the pier, grabbed onto the side and dangled myself down until my feet were on this chain," she said. "[She was] hanging into the water, and I managed to get my arm around this wire rope around the top and I hung on to that, and got her to grab onto the actual life ring."

"I was shouting at her 'Come on, you can do this.'"

Finally, the woman managed to hook her arm onto the chain that Harrison was standing on, and the model was able to take hold of the drowning woman's bra strap and top. At that moment, a group from the Royal National Lifeboat Institution was able to grab her, saving her life.

Steve King, a lifeboat helmsman for the RNLI said that if not for Harrison's actions, the woman in the river might not have survived, calling her moment of bravery an "incredible act of public service."

King added that the RNLI normally advises people not to do what Harrison did, and instead call the Coast Guard to handle the situation, according to the BBC. 

Sources: The Mirror, BBC / Photo credit: JPon Hudson/YouTube

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