The quick thinking of a Whitby taxi driver saved an elderly man from drowning in the harbour.
According to the Whitby Gazette, Andrew Dixon, 52, pulled the pensioner out of the freezing water after being alerted to the man’s cries for help by customers getting into his cab outside the New Angel Hotel in New Quay Road.
“I just did what you’d like to think anyone would do to help someone in that situation,” said Andrew.
“Customers were getting into my car and we heard someone shouting for help.
“We spotted a gentleman in the water who was clearly struggling and in a lot of dis-tress. I was about to jump into the harbour when I spotted a life ring which I threw to him and eventually managed to get him hooked on.”
Having pulled the pensioner to the safety of a flight of nearby steps, another local man, Ian Belchamber, joined in the rescue.
Mr Belchamber held on to Mr Dixon while he lifted the sodden man out of the water and up the steps.
“Ian had to keep hold of me while I pulled the gentleman out because the steps were so slippy,” Mr Dixon added.
‘“The guy was freezing cold and very distressed and disorientated. Fortunately paramedics were on the scene pretty quickly.”
Mr Dixon, who was born in Whitby and has worked as a driver for Abbey Taxis for the past two years, said that he wouldn’t think twice about doing the same thing again.
“I’m just pleased I was in the right place at the right time to be able to get the chap out before he went under,” he continued.
“I don’t know if I saved his life, I’m just happy I was able to help.”
The holidaymakers who were the passengers in Mr Dixon’s cab when he was forced into action have paid tribute to his calmness.
Bev Kliver and Carmel Mathews from Herefordshire saw the drama.
Ms Mathews said: “Andrew went over and went down the steps and threw the ring to the gentleman. He couldn’t catch it and kept going under the water. Every time he reached for the ring he went down.”
Ms Klimer revealed that Mr Dixon managed to persuade the man to move closer to the ring before reaching for it, while her friend phoned emergency services.
After the rescue Andrew delivered his two passengers back to the Royal Hotel.