Louise from Asda Gosport saves woman whose car reverses into lake
When Louise Slade from our Gosport store saw a motorist's car sink into a lake she dived straight in – wading up to her neck in freezing cold water to rescue her from her car.
Pharmacy colleague Louise, who's 44 and a grandmother, was chatting to her teenage son Tommy in her own car when she saw the lady's car had been caught in the rising tide and was going under the water as she tried to drive out.
Louise said: "I didn't think of the danger. I thought 'she's in trouble and needs help' so I went to her. I was worried that the car would go right under and she'd drown."
The incident happened at Alverstoke Lake in Gosport, a popular beauty spot.
Louise, who's worked at the store since March, said: "We were just sat in the car, as it's our quiet place and we go there to chit chat.
"The water was very high and was up onto the road. It's tidal and it happens all the time. The lady had parked when the tide was low, so she tried to reverse out. I thought that she'd be fine but then she just turned her car and the lake took her right in and the car just submerged.
"I knew that she could possibly drown if I didn't get to her so I just got there as quick as I could. The water went up to the bottom of the windscreen and I was up to my neck in the water. My feet were on the bottom of lake bed.
"Somehow I managed to force the door open – I don't know how I did it because of the pressure of the water, but I did. I think adrenalin kicked in. The water was absolutely freezing, but I didn't think of that at the time.
"The lady was struggling and panicking. She wasn't strong enough to open her door or her window. Everything in the car had just died – nothing was working.
Louise managed to pull the lady, who's in her 60s, out of the Kia and drag her to the shore.
Louise says she was "very cold, shocked and frightened but otherwise unhurt. She didn't need to go to hospital, but Louise stayed with her until her husband took her home.
The lady later dropped off a thank-you card which read: "Thank you for being there when I had my mishap. I will never forget the help that you gave to me."
Louise is married to Graham and they also have a daughter, Chloe, and a baby grandson, Oliver.
She said: "They are all really proud of me and have been telling everyone about it."
Store manager Kenny Farrell, who has nominated Louise for an Asda service superstar award, says everyone at Asda Gosport is so proud of Louise.
He said: "I was really proud when I heard how heroic our wonderful pharmacy colleague Louise had been.
"With the temperatures dropping dramatically recently the water would have been icy cold. Without a moment's hesitation, Louise came to the lady's aid and quite possibly saved her life. Louise is a credit to the store and we are all extremely proud of her."
And pharmacy manager Angie Lant added: “Louise is a popular member of our store and our customers love her. I am so very proud to have her on our team. I’m sure I can speak for the lady and our whole store when we say how proud we are of Louise. Not everyone would be so willing to go into icy waters without a thought for their own safety. She is a superstar."