Livingston dad saves pensioner from drowning after his devoted dog helps raise alarm

Gregor Angus has been hailed a hero for his quick thinking rescue of an 81-year-old dog walker who got into trouble near the Friars Brae bridge.

Gregor Angus was out walking with his five-year-old son Lucas when he came across a lone black labrador on January 31.
Gregor Angus was out walking with his five-year-old son Lucas when he came across a lone black labrador on January 31.

Mr Angus was out walking with his five-year-old son Lucas near the Friars Brae bridge when he came across a lone black labrador on January 31.

Approaching the friendly pooch the 39-year-old soon spotted the owner, Brian Watson, struggling to swim in the bitterly cold canal.

Acting fast the brave father jumped into the freezing water and managed to pull the terrified pensioner to safety.

Devoted dog Hugo helped raise the alarm.

His young son Lucas held onto the dog, named Hugo, while passersby called an ambulance and tried to help by giving their coats to Mr Watson as he waited to be taken to hospital.

The pensioner’s daughter, Dawn Watson, said that without Mr Angus’s heroic actions her dad “wouldn’t be here today”.

She said: “No words are enough to thank those who gave their coats to keep my dad warm until help arrived and to our hero who jumped in and saved my dad from drowning at the Friars Brae bridge, we are eternally grateful. If it wasn't for his quick actions my dad wouldn't be here”.

Lucas has been thanked for his part in the rescue and Mr Angus has received a local award for his bravery, presented by Westport Veterinary Clinic.

Surprised by the attention received Mr Angus admits that he is “very embarrassed” at his new title but is thankful that Mr Watson escaped serious harm.

He said: “I am very embarrassed to be referred to as a ‘hero’, I was simply in the right place at the right time.

“My son and I had passed Brian and his dog while heading east on the Canal path. We then turned around at the Canal basin to head home. “

“When we got close to the bridge at Friars Brae, I noticed the dog on its own on the path, which I thought was a bit strange.

“As I got a bit closer, I spotted what turned out to be Brian, in the water. Fortunately, he was reasonably close to the edge.

“My son looked after the dog, and I was able to haul Brian round to get his face out of the water, while at the same time calling for help.

“Luckily some others nearby were able to assist, and thanks to them we were able to get him out of the water to safety.

“I don’t know who the others at the scene were, but if they read this, a huge thank you from me as it really was a team effort.

“I am just glad to hear that Brian escaped the incident without any serious injuries, and has recovered from it.”

Presenting Mr Angus with his Local Hero award Carena Schmid from Westport Veterinary Clinic said: “It takes a lot of strength and bravery to act quickly in an unknown, unpredictable and frightening situation. Gregor is an amazing individual. His bravery and kindness saved a life, the life of a much loved member of the local community. He is a true hero and the world needs more people like him in it.”

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