If you saw an animal minutes away from death, would you jump in to help – even if it meant putting your own life at risk? In life-threatening situations, people often react quickly and commit acts of braveness that they never even thought they were capable of. And that’s exactly what happened to a 13-year-old boy who came across a horse who was drowning in a nearby dyke.
Heroically, the boy jumped into the water and attempted to keep the horse’s head out of the water for over an hour. Thanks to his amazing efforts, the horse went onto survive, and the boy’s story was shared in the far and wide online.
Cameron Martin, from Oulton Broad, was staying at the Midspirit Discount Equestrian farm in Burgh Castle on August 13, while his mom, Kelly Ann Gook, worked a nightshift at the James Paget Hospital.
Cameron was under the care of his mom’s friends, Jonathan and Tanya Docwra-Smith, when that afternoon he disappeared for more than an hour.
Speaking to Eastern Daily Press, Tanya said: “I’m like an aunty to Cameron – and he’s got additional educational needs so can be difficult to handle. He often goes off on his own for half an hour or so and we’re used to that, but on this day he was gone for well over an hour and we started to panic.”
It turned out that Cameron had disappeared for so long for a good reason – he had come across a horse whose head was submerged in a nearby Dyke, and he was attempting to save its life.
“I was walking up to my field to see my pony when I noticed one of the owner’s horses wasn’t where it normally is,” Cameron said. “I panicked, and then my first thought was to check the dyke. I saw it in the water trying to force itself under. I just did what I had to do.”
When Cameron failed to return home, Tanya, her family, and Cameron’s mom conducted a search of the surrounding area and eventually came across Cameron in the dyke.
They were initially confused as to what he was doing, but it soon became clear that he urgently needed help.
“We’d seen Cameron gesticulating on the side of the dyke from afar but honestly had no idea what he was doing.” Tanya recalled. “He kept jumping back in the water and out again. It was all very scary. It turned out he was literally keeping Domino’s head out of the water to stop him from drowning.”
According to Tanya, Cameron knows how to handle horses well, so he knew not to leave the poor creature alone for more than a few seconds. Every so often, he would get onto the side of the dyke and jump around waving his arms to try and catch someone’s attention.
“The scene was horrible: the horse had weeds trapped under its nose and it was clearly in pain.” Tanya recalled, adding, “Cameron was freezing and distraught. But he was adamant that we saved the horse’s life.”
Tanya explained that Domino the horse has a long-term leg injury and is due to be put down in January next year, and tragically, the family believes that the poor horse was trying to force his head under the water because he couldn’t go on anymore. But thanks to Cameron, the horse was now going to pass away in a more humane way. The heroic schoolboy said that he’d slept for 24 hours after the incident, and we’re not surprised! He must have been absolutely exhausted.
Apparently, the horse’s owner, Paul Williams, was “immensely grateful” to Cameron, calling him a “little hero” – and Cameron’s friends and family were incredibly proud of him.
“Not even an adult would have the guts to do what he did,” Tanya said. “He and the horse have bonded after this. When he stands at one side of the dyke and Cameron at the other, Domino gives him a little whinny.”
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