Hero could feel himself drowning
A man who tried to save a drowning boy in Devonport on Saturday believed he would also die in the water.
Bernard Riedl, 28, dived off the Torpedo Bay wharf in his underwear after the five-year-old fell into the sea and he heard a man yell ‘‘jump’’.
The boy had been on a family excursion at the time, and was unable to be revived by emergency services when he was pulled from the water around 3.15pm.
Riedl said he didn’t see the family, but heard the boy’s mother screaming: ‘‘It was all I could hear ... the most horrible screams’’, he said from his home in Bayswater afterwards.
He said the water was choppy and that the boy had been ‘‘really, really struggling’’ to keep afloat.
‘‘I swam to him and he put his hands around my neck, hanging on for dear life,’’ he said.
‘‘But it was so rough, and I could feel myself drowning. I was trying to make sure both of us could get air.’’
Riedl, weakened by the choppy water, tried to lie on his back, but the child then detached.
He was in the water for maybe ten minutes, before getting washed near the shore. He dragged himself up and walked back to the wharf, where he gave a statement to police.
Inspector Jason Greenhalgh said the boy’s death will be referred to the Coroner.
Bernard Riedl, a 28-year-old Bayswater resident, said he was ‘‘winded’’ when he learnt the boy he had tried to save had died.