AN ANGLER nearly died after the bank of a deserted river gave way – but a jogger luckily heard his screams for help.

Mike Drewett (pictured above) was fishing the River Tone at Ham in Somerset when the ground gave way underneath him.

The 63-year-old and machinist from Bridgwater said: “I was stuck in the river for over 90 minutes, saved by the fire brigade after a jogger found me and raised the alarm.

“I was fishing the river alone when the bank gave way throwing me into the water.

“I fished one of my regular pegs, so I knew the swim well. But someone had dug the bank away and thrown out the mud in front of the swim.

“When I started trotting my shadow was being cast on the water. So I decided to set up my chair, and when I went to sit on the chair, the bank gave way, throwing me and the chair in.

“I went in head first and found I was up to my waist in freezing cold water and could not get out due to the height of the bank.

“I could not phone for help as my mobile was in my pocket and was instantly damaged.

“I must have been in the water for 90 minutes when a jogger ran past and heard my shouts for help. He was approximately three-quarters of a mile away but the wind carried my voice and he came to investigate.

“He telephoned 999 and a fire engine was dispatched. It took four fire fighters to pull me out and an ambulance came to check me over.

“Thankfully I only lost my fishing chair, and thermal suit and boots.

“I want people to be aware of the dangers of fishing alone, and especially in such secluded spots but to also ask fellow fishermen to be mindful of their actions when digging the bank.

“I’m now banned from going out on my own to the rivers,” he added.

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