Be­hind the photo: from life­savers to life­long friends – a ter­ri­fy­ing or­deal that forged a re­la­tion­ship

Julie Rey­nard, 54, watched in hor­ror as her hus­band dis­ap­peared un­der the waves. Who could save him now?

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Star­ing out at the sea, I felt a sense of calm. It was July 2016 and my hus­band Ian, 56, and I were on a five-star break in An­talya, Turkey.

Three days into the trip, we were head­ing for cock­tails on the pier when ian de­cided to take a quick dip. i set­tled at a ta­ble and, af­ter about 10 min­utes, spot­ted ian. he seemed fur­ther out than usual. Then i saw him wav­ing his arm in the air and shout­ing be­fore he dis­ap­peared from view.

‘some­one, help my hus­band!’ i screamed. i darted along the pier. There were a few peo­ple around, but no one who spoke English. i knew i’d never be able to get to ian. i wasn’t a very good swim­mer. But then a young man come run­ning over. as i pointed out to the sea, where ian was still strug­gling, he set off run­ning down the pier and dived into the wa­ter.

Hol­i­day hero

it felt like an eter­nity be­fore the man fi­nally reached ian, but he quickly grabbed him and held his head above the waves. a boat reached them and ian was pulled on board. Then the man clam­bered on too and the boat headed back to the beach.

‘i’ve lost him, haven’t i?’ i sobbed. ‘he’s dead, isn’t he?’ a young woman stepped for­ward to com­fort me. But just as the am­bu­lance ar­rived, i heard ian call my name. i grabbed his hand tightly, re­lieved he had asked for me. i got into the am­bu­lance with him and we were rushed to the lo­cal hos­pi­tal.

an in­ter­preter helped ex­plain ian’s lungs were full of wa­ter and doc­tors were tak­ing him to in­ten­sive care. i was still wear­ing my bikini, but a nurse gave me a gown and mask so i could go and see him. he looked weak, but when he man­aged to smile at my out­fit, i knew he’d be ok.

at 11pm, i re­turned to the ho­tel to get some clothes. a young cou­ple spot­ted me in the lobby. ‘is your hus­band ok?’ the man asked and i re­alised he’d been the one who’d saved ian. and it was his part­ner who had com­forted me on the beach. ‘ian’s go­ing to be fine,’ i said. ‘Thank

you both so much.’

So thank­ful

They in­tro­duced them­selves as lindsay, 30, and Ewout, 27, from hol­land. They in­sisted on tak­ing me out for din­ner that day and the next, and we ex­changed phone num­bers. Back in Eng­land, ian re­cov­ered well. Then in March this year, we heard Ewout had won a brav­ery award and we were in­vited to hol­land to see him be­ing pre­sented with it on TV. i kept re­mem­ber­ing how he’d dived into the wa­ter and hadn’t thought once about his own safety. Ewout and lindsay are now plan­ning a trip to the uk next year. af­ter every­thing we’ve been through, we’ll be friends for life.

‘He hadn’t thought about his own safety’

Julie and Ian (both left) were happy to be re­united with the heroic cou­ple

Ian was taken to in­ten­sive care at the

hos­pi­tal

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