Teen Dubbed ‘Guardian Angel’ For Jumping Into Canal To Rescue Drowning 1-Year-Old

Jan 27, 2023 by apost team

All mothers have experienced the horror: one minute, your toddler is playing safe and sound right in front of you, and the next, they are nowhere to be found.  

When mom Becca Hampton was enjoying a sunny Sunday afternoon with her 15-month-old son Reggie and her friends, she never expected to experience the fright of her life. As the two adults worked in the backyard, the boy suddenly managed to make his way through a makeshift gate and headed for a nearby canal. Luckily one brave teenager, Ryley Ferguson, was in the area and came to the rescue before the little one could get hurt. 

In May 2020, Ferguson was walking his dogs when he saw Reggie walk towards the canal and heard him fall in. Speaking to the Yorkshire Post, Ferguson said that when he realized the toddler was in the water, he immediately took action by jumping in to help. That’s when he realized he couldn’t make it out while carrying Reggie, so he started shouting for help. 

“Since it’s happened I’ve been ok, it doesn’t feel real and I did what anyone else would do, it’s just lucky that I was there because 30 seconds later, he would have been dead,” Ferguson told the publication.

Reggie’s mother is now tremendously grateful that Ferguson was around to rescue her son. Speaking to apost.com, she told us she has kept in contact with Ryley since the incident as she “can’t thank him enough.” 

“We kept checking on them every 5 mins when my friend… noticed Reggie wasn’t there… That’s when I thought, ‘something’s wrong, where is he’ (and) panic set in. I noticed my neighbors running towards the canal and that’s when my world stopped,” she added.

Becca Hampton (Copyright)

When Hampton rushed out toward the canal, she told apost.com she saw Reggie “already on route to me.”

Ever since, the teenager is known locally as a hero for risking his life to save Reggie. 

Susan Dann, a Knottingley local, took to Facebook to commend him for his brave actions.

“Knottingley has a new hero. Ryley Ferguson from The Ridgeway,” she wrote.

“While walking the canal today Ryley witnessed an unaccompanied toddler fall into the canal from the opposite bank below Foundry Lane. Without further ado, Ryley immediately stripped off some clothing, dived in, and swam across and saved the toddler’s life. By the time Ryley got there, the toddler was submerged.”

Even Tom Gordon, a local councilor, caught wind of Ferguson’s actions. 

“Our town is extremely fortunate to have a lad like Ryley,” Gordon said. “He’s a hero and he deserves to be recognized as such.”

Ferguson’s parents, Amy and Michael, have since said they are “so proud” of their son’s courageous actions. 

“We heard from one of the neighbors near the canal that they saw what happened and she said Ryley didn’t hesitate and jumped straight in after the toddler,” his mother told the Yorkshire Post.

“He was brilliant, he wasn’t strong enough to help the kid out of the canal, and he was holding him above water for some time so it’s lucky people came to help."

His father added to BBC: “If he had been seconds later, that kid would have drowned and no one would have known where he went.

"He must have had somebody watching over him."


Becca Hampton (Copyright)

What do you think of Ryley’s brave actions? Was it coincidence or divine intervention? Let us know your thoughts and be sure to pass this on to family and friends as well.

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