A BOY and his mother had to be rescued from a river after she jumped in to save him when he started to drown.

Racheal Cooper’s and her six-year-old son has been playing by the River Caldew on Thursday when he fell into the water and started drowning.

Miss Cooper quickly jumped in to save her son, Jake, but soon found she was unable to keep herself and the six-year-old above the water.

She explained: “We were trying to catch tadpoles and he fell in.

“He started drowning and my friend was there, she just froze so I jumped in to save him.

“But I started going under the water too.”

At first, Miss Cooper didn’t realise her son was drowning, after playing in the same place for a number of hours she didn’t realise the water was as deep as it was

“I got the shock of my life,” she said.

“When I first looked at him because we had been there for about three hours.

“It didn’t look deep and I expected him to jump up.

“Then I looked at him and thought, no he’s drowning.”

Out of instinct the 26-year-old just jumped in, but didn’t realise how deceiving the water was and quickly found herself in difficulty too.

She continued: It’s really deceiving water, I didn’t expect it to be like that.

“I got tired from pulling Jake and he went under the water when I let go of him.

“When we tried to get out some lads, who had been fishing, all came over to help.

“Jake had fallen off a concrete post from the bridge and the lads had seen him and came over and dragged us back up the bank.”

After what has happened to them, Miss Cooper has issued a warning to others who are tempted to jump into rivers not to.

She added: “I’d tell people not to jump in rivers, any rivers because it’s so dangerous and deceiving.

“I couldn’t even touch the floor. The current was so strong it was dragging Jake away from me.

"I felt like someone was pulling him.”

Since the incident, Jake has been taken to hospital to be checked and to make sure his lungs are working properly.

All the tests came back fine, he is just battered and bruised.

Speaking about the incident, Miss Cooper, said: “Jake isn’t too bad, it’s me that can’t forget about it.

“I know how dangerous that water is, one of my family members died in there and I didn’t think that wouldn’t happen to me.”

A spokesman for North Cumbria Rescue and Response Team has urged people to be careful when playing in rivers.

He said: "What may seem like a nice location for a paddle or a swim can often hold hidden dangers. The biggest killer of all is a phenomenon called Cold Water Shock which leads to sharp uncontrolled inhalation of breath. If this is taken underwater, it will quickly lead to panic and the potential of drowning. With today’s water temperatures in the river Caldew at an average of 12 degrees, it is well within the point at which Cold Water Shock can occur.

"Additionally, with natural watercourses and often larger bodies of water, there may be strong currents underwater that cannot be seen on the surface which can often catch people out. If you see man-made structures in the water such as dams, weirs or waterfalls, stay well away from both upstream and downstream sides of these, as they are highly dangerous even for trained rescue swimmers due to the extreme currents occurring beneath the surface. Before open water swimming, check out your location thoroughly. Make sure your exit point is nice and smooth as you will often be exhausted when you want to get out. Check the areas downstream for hazards in case you are unable to get to your exit point.

"Always ensure someone on the shore has a mobile phone with good signal to call for help. Acclimatise yourself slowly to the temperature of the water and be aware there may be underwater hazards and currents."