Three lifesavers hailed as heroes after rescuing a woman trapped in a submerging car in the Scottish Borders

The car in the river at Preston.The car in the river at Preston.
The car in the river at Preston.
A trio of lifesavers who rescued a woman from a car almost submerged in a Scottish Borders river earlier this week have been hailed as heroes.

The bravery of the three men, who do not want to be identified, has emerged after the woman rescued sang their praises and hailed them as ‘life-savers’ and ‘local heroes’.

The drama began amid torrential rain at around 7pm on Tuesday, October 5.

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A 52-year-old woman was driving a Fiat 500 when it slid down a ford at the village of Preston in Duns and into the river.

Water flooded into the vehicle, up to the woman’s waist, and she feared it was only a matter of time until it was fully submerged.

Thankfully, three workers – whose own vehicle was being towed as a result of a breakdown – were passing at the time and, using a tow rope, they pulled the desperate woman to safety.

The woman rescued said: “These men are local heroes. These strangers risked their lives to save mine and I will be forever grateful.”

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She added: “I was going toward the ford and the rain was absolutely horrendous and because there was so much water and mud I slid down and I ended up in the ford.

"The water was right up to my waist. There were trees floating past on the river. I had my handbrake on and my foot on the brake as hard as I could.

“They saved my life, absolutely.”

One of the reluctant heroes, from Kelso, said: “As we were coming to the ford the road was really flooded and we saw a white car with its back lights on in the water.

"We noticed a lady was still in the vehicle. She was shouting ‘please don’t come to the car’ because she thought we would be swept away, but me and my mate said ‘no, we need to get you out of the car’, but we needed to get the car out of the water first.

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"My mate went into the water with a tow rope and tried to hook it under the back bumper but couldn’t find it, so we put the hook on the catch on the car boot, attached it to the van we were getting towed by and pulled the car up, with the lady still in the vehicle.

“She was shaken up but very thankful to us. The car was ruined, it was full of sediment, but the main thing was that we got her out.

"Thank God we arrived when we did. It was a really bad night and the rain was relentless.”

Thanks have also been passed on to a retired farmer called Chris and a passing tourist called Johnathon who also offered assistance at the scene.