A jogger miraculously cheated death after falling into a canal – by recalling an RNLI safety advert she saw while watching BAKE OFF.
Agnieszka Kwiecien was out for her regular Sunday run when she lost her footing while trying to avoid a puddle and went crashing into the water.
The 36-year-old, known as Aggie, says she heard a “calm voice” saying “you know what to do” as she recalled an advert she had seen 12 months earlier.
The RNLI ad, played during an episode of the Great British Bake Off, urged anyone who finds themselves unexpectedly in cold water to ‘float to live’.
Aggie, who’s from Blackburn, Lancs., said: “It was probably a year since I saw the advert but it was really ingrained in my memory.
“In that split-second, I was prepared what to do.
“The narration was clear in my head, in English, saying when you fall in you’ve got a few seconds to do the right thing and resist the urge to panic and thrash around, because that’s what might cause you to drown.
“You have to try and relax and float. I had the image of people falling into the water and floating and I really remembered it.”
Aggie, who runs a Polish translation business, was running on a towpath along the Leeds and Liverpool Canal earlier this year when she fell in.
She said: “It all happened in what felt like slow motion, even though it must have been a fraction of a second.
“As I felt myself go, I heard a calm voice in my head saying, ‘okay, you know what to do, you fell into the canal, you mustn’t panic, you’re going to surface to the water and just relax’, that’s exactly what I did.”
After catching her breath Aggie was able to call out for help and alerted a group of passers-by.
They pulled her out of the canal and wrapped her in a blanket before helping her get home to her fiancé, a warm shower and some dry clothes.
Fortunately, she did not suffer any injuries or need medical help but she has been left shaken by the experience.
The RNLI have are using Aggie’s story to raise awareness for their national drowning prevention campaign Respect the Water, which urges people to ‘float to live’.
They advise anyone who finds themselves submerged to lie back and attempt to float in the water in order to catch their breath, just as Aggie did.
Chris Cousens, from the RNLI, said: “Aggie’s story really does prove the charity’s ‘float to live’ advice is just as relevant inland as it is on the coast.
“Coastal fatality figures sadly show that many of those who lose their lives did not plan on entering the water.
“Slips, trips and falls can catch people unaware while out running or walking.
“Knowing what to do if you fall into cold water, whether inland or at the coast, can be the difference between life and death.”