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'Help me find the men who plucked me from murky river 38 years ago'

PUBLISHED: 12:26 05 April 2019 | UPDATED: 16:35 05 April 2019

Martin Smith (right) and Dick Boulter after they rescued a boy from the River Bure at Great Yarmouth Marina, 26th June 1981. Photo: Archant Library

Martin Smith (right) and Dick Boulter after they rescued a boy from the River Bure at Great Yarmouth Marina, 26th June 1981. Photo: Archant Library

Archant Library

Almost 38 years ago, a nine-year-old boy's life was in the balance as he floundered, fully-clothed, in a murky, fast-flowing Norfolk river.

Ginn Family, that might not have been there if David was saved 38 years ago. Photo: David GinnGinn Family, that might not have been there if David was saved 38 years ago. Photo: David Ginn

As the weight of his Parka coat and Wellington boots pulled him under, David Ginn looked likely to lose his fight with the River Bure at Great yarmouth.

But at the critical moment, he was plucked from the waters by two local men.

Now the grown-up Mr Ginn, a father of one, wants to track the men down to thank them - and show them photos of the family that “would not have existed” without their heroics.

David Ginn and his wife Sara with son Zach on Holiday. Photo: David GinnDavid Ginn and his wife Sara with son Zach on Holiday. Photo: David Ginn

Mr Ginn, now 46, has been searching for the two men who saved his life but has exhausted all avenues.

“My father thanked the men for their heroic efforts,” he said. “He provided them with a change of clothes and we continued on our holiday, but the impact of that day didn’t hit me until later in life.

“I just want to say a big personal thank you to them and show pictures of my family, a family that possibly would not have existed without their help that day.”

David Ginn is looking for the two men who saved his life 38 years ago. Photo: David GinnDavid Ginn is looking for the two men who saved his life 38 years ago. Photo: David Ginn

The incident happened on June 26, 1981, when young David fell into the River Bure in Great Yarmouth and was swept away by the fast-moving current.

Dick Boulter and Martin Smith were working in the first-floor office of the Port of Yarmouth Marina (now Yarmouth Harbour) and rushed to the boy’s rescue.

Mr Ginn, who lives in South Croydon, recalled the day and remembered seeing the two men on the shore moments before going under.

Nine-year-old David Ginn with his mum Margaret, dad Albert, brother Ian and sister Helen. Photo: David GinnNine-year-old David Ginn with his mum Margaret, dad Albert, brother Ian and sister Helen. Photo: David Ginn

“I was wearing an old-style 70s Parka coat as the weather was bleak, a few layers and Wellington boots,” he said. “When I surfaced from the initial submerging a wooden rowing boat hit my head. I turned to the shore which seemed miles away and swam as best I could.

“I was doing well but when a few metres away I started to go under. I saw two men stripping off on the shore and I wondered what on earth they were up too. The next thing I knew I was being lifted from the water.”

Speaking to the EDP on June 27, 1981, Mr Boulter said: “He looked as if he was going to make the bank. He seemed quite a strong little swimmer but the current took him away and I could see him going under.”

Do you know the men? Email emily.prince@archant.co.uk

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