Tuesday, 28 January 2020
A view from the bridge
Imagine that the boat on the left of the photo is not there. And neither are the boats in the background at the back of the photo. All there is are a couple of boats parked, or moored, on the right of the picture. Not these two boats exactly but boats that look very much like them.
This photo, (taken whilst standing on a bridge crossing a canal), is for illustrative purposes only.
I want you to imagine a canal with a couple of boats on the right and a footpath, like this one, on the left.
OK ... have you got the image on your mind? A canal. Boats on the right. A footpath on the left. And me on the bridge. Similar scene to the one above.
Now the events as they happened. And me watching from the bridge.
There was a man walking on the footpath on the left with his dog on a lead. Suddenly, the dog tugs hard at the lead having seen something in the bushes.
The man falls flat on his face. And I mean flat ... totally face down. He must have injured his face because he has a nose bleed from what I can gather. He seems otherwise OK because he shouts at the dog, still tugging at the lead, but he does not let go for fear of losing the dog. He holds tight to the lead and tries to stop the nose bleed with a handkerchief as he attempts to get up again.
I stay still on the bridge and do nothing. At this point a woman on one of the boats on the right, (not these boats precisely but others looking like them), on hearing the commotion throws an inflatable ring across the canal at the man still on the ground on the footpath.
You know the kind? A buoy or inflatable ring with a rope attached to it. Most boats have them in case someone falls into the water.
The heavy buoy and a lot of rope land on the man like a ton of spaghetti and hit him on the head sending him flat on his face once again.
Still for some unknown reason, the stupid woman on the boat, tries to retrieve the buoy she threw by pulling hard on the end of the rope. The sudden pull somehow entangles the rope round the man's neck and he starts choking. To avoid this he slowly drags himself closer to the edge of the bank towards the water. He lets go of the dog's lead and the animal runs into the bushes. The woman is still pulling at the rope. The man is holding tight at the rope round his neck whilst edging towards the water. He tugs back at the rope sharply and the sudden jolt unbalances the stupid woman and she falls into the canal. She splashes and shouts, "I can't swim!" In order to help her, the man throws the buoy at her whilst trying to untangle the rope round his neck. She gets hold of the buoy and whilst still splashing about tugs at the rope sending the man almost over the edge. He is still lying flat on his stomach. His top end is being dragged into the water whilst the lower end of his body is still on dry land. He will either choke to death or be drowned.
I make an attempt to go to his help. The bridge on which I am standing is some distance from him. Suddenly, another woman on the footpath sees what happens and rushes to the man's aid. She gets hold of his trousers. Unfortunately he is wearing those sports jogging trousers with elasticated waist. As she tugs sharply, the trousers slide off the man revealing all he has to reveal to the world at large. Eventually she pulls him by his T shirt and gets him back on shore. As she untangles the rope off his neck the other woman manages to get off the water.
I wait a while on the bridge whilst the man stands up pulling up his trousers, thanks his rescuer, and goes searching for the dog.
Meanwhile the woman from the boat walks towards me to cross the bridge and go back to her boat on the right of the canal. Her dress is totally soaked and sticking to her skin. She smells of canal water as she holds tightly to the buoy dragging the rope behind her. As she approaches me she says sheepishly, "I thought he was going to fall in the water!"