A hero is being honored after he jumped over a railing and into the rough Thames river to save a drowning boy.

Mark Maloney was spending time with some coworkers when he heard a mother’s terrifying scream. When he arrived at the edge of the river, Maloney realized her 4-year-old boy had slipped through the railings and was bobbing in and out of the water.

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Maloney has spent countless hours training for Ironman contests as well as triathlons, but he knew that attempting a rescue in this current with a second person was still almost impossible. But his caution was soon taken over by instinct.

“I just acted on instinct without thinking really,” Maloney said. “I do a lot of triathlons and lots of open swimming so I thought I could help.”

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After jumping into the fast moving water, Maloney lost all sight of the young boy and started to panic. “In the water I was panicking because I couldn’t see him, I was screaming up to my mates ‘where is he?’ And suddenly his head popped up in front of me.”

Maloney continued, “He was bobbing under and I didn’t think he would come back up again so I managed [to] get hold of him.”

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Although Maloney wasn’t able to calm him completely, the boy did manage to talk. “He managed to tell me his name but was in total shock,” Maloney said remembering the rescue. “It was a really tough current; I did a huge open water swim in [an] Ironman competition in the summer but I was struggling to keep us both afloat.”

Maloney’s manager, Andrew Edwards, managed to find a life ring and tossed it to the struggling Maloney. The two were then pulled to the safety of the shore. “It was the most heroic thing I have ever seen,” says Edwards. “We looked round and Mark was already taking his shoes off to go in. He was the only one who had the strength to do it, if I’d gone in I’d be dead.”

The hero passed off the young child to his mother who was completely in shock. “His mom was just crying; she was obviously in shock,” Maloney said. “She could barely speak.” When she finally thought to say thank you, she couldn’t even find the words.

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Maloney and the mother plan to stay connected until the boy is out of the hospital and also plans to get him a special gift for Christmas for his bravery! As for Maloney, his words sum up his thoughts perfectly.

“I was just so relieved to get the boy out and see he’s ok. It’s a sense of relief that I have never known before to give him back to his family just before Christmas.”

I can’t think of a better Christmas present can you? This man is a one of a kind hero!

 

Article and Photos via Standard.co.uk