Dion Smith helped save woman in River Ouse rescue

Sister of Lisette Dugmore helped in river rescue

Dion Smith

Lisette Dugmore

First published in News
Last updated
York Press: Photograph of the Author by

THE sister of tragic Lisette Dugmore helped to save a young woman in a dramatic river rescue in York, it has emerged.

Dion Smith was passing the Clifton Bridge with her husband Paul when the woman plunged into the water, and witnessed two passer-bys jump in to go to her aid. The couple threw them a life ring, and then helped to direct the pair to the struggling woman.

Watching the events unfold, Dion said she fought back tears as she was reminded of her own sister's final moments in the river.

Lisette, of Clifton, was 36 when she was last seen on CCTV in the Bootham area in 2008. Her family never gave up hope of finding her alive, until her body was found in mud alongside the river at Acaster Malbis on January 13 last year.

Dion said she thought of her sister throughout the ordeal on Monday, desperate not to see another family lose a loved one in the river.

"We saw the two chaps that saved her trying to get into the river, and we called 'Please put a lifeline on. I lost my sister in the river five years ago, I don't want it to happen to anyone else'."

The scenes brought back heartbreaking memories, and Dion said she was desperate to see the three pulled out.

"At the time, we were just worried about their safety. It wasn't until later it hit me and I realised there could have been three lives lost because that water is treacherous."

Once the two men got hold of the women they towed her to the river bank and waited until the fire service's river rescue boat arrived.

Dion added: "It was just as though time stopped and everyone held their breath until the woman was safe.

"I saw them lift her out of the water and knew she was safe, but I was still on tenterhooks because the two lads were still in the water. I didn't want anything to happen to them after they had risked their lives to save her."

Dion praised the two men - off-duty British Transport Police officer PC James Finch and MoD firefighter Craig Marsden - who swam into the river to save the young woman, as well as the fire crew on the river rescue boat.

"The river rescue boat was fantastic, it seemed to get there so fast," she said. "The two lads were amazing - to put their own lives at risk to save someone else, knowing the river is like it it, was fantastic and I can't praise them enough."

An inquest found that Lisette had likely drowned when she lost her footing and fell into the river after an evening drinking, but her final moments are shrouded in mystery. The incident on Monday, and the four river deaths in York this year, have made Dion wonder again about Lisette's ordeal.

She said: "We are only in May, but already this year there have been four bodies pulled out of the river. It just brings it all back.

"My heart goes out to all their parents because we have been in that situation. I know how they feel, I know what they are going through."

The memory of Lisette's loss has been with Dion, and the rest of the family, everyday since she disappeared in 2008.

"It's not just brothers and sisters, it affects the whole family including nephews and nieces. My son and daughter were very close to their Aunty Lisette."

Dion is now calling for more to be done to prevent needless deaths in York rivers and she and her family are giving their support to The Press's river safety campaign Take Care.

"I honestly don't know what could be done," she said, but suggested that posters and placards warning of the dangerous rivers could make people more aware of the care they need to take when walking near the water.

"People just need to be aware that the water is there and what the consequences could be if they fall in," she said.

Comments (11)

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12:42pm Fri 23 May 14

Dave Ruddock says...

its sad and awful i know, but rivers have always had an effect on people (enticing) people to enter. If anything a low railing, (say 4 foot high) on both banks from the Food plain at Clifton to Millennium Bridge, less for brick walling where appropriate, and the Fire and Rescue service bring back their water craft. If necessary Very Large signs "DANGER ENTER AT YOUR OWN RISK" or just Wall and Roof the rover in . Just a few thoughts
its sad and awful i know, but rivers have always had an effect on people (enticing) people to enter. If anything a low railing, (say 4 foot high) on both banks from the Food plain at Clifton to Millennium Bridge, less for brick walling where appropriate, and the Fire and Rescue service bring back their water craft. If necessary Very Large signs "DANGER ENTER AT YOUR OWN RISK" or just Wall and Roof the rover in . Just a few thoughts Dave Ruddock
  • Score: -20

1:14pm Fri 23 May 14

yorkie1980 says...

Dave Ruddock wrote:
its sad and awful i know, but rivers have always had an effect on people (enticing) people to enter. If anything a low railing, (say 4 foot high) on both banks from the Food plain at Clifton to Millennium Bridge, less for brick walling where appropriate, and the Fire and Rescue service bring back their water craft. If necessary Very Large signs "DANGER ENTER AT YOUR OWN RISK" or just Wall and Roof the rover in . Just a few thoughts
"Wall and Roof the rover (sic) in" - this has got be the most astounding thing that anybody has ever commented on the press website. Seriously?! Brilliant!
[quote][p][bold]Dave Ruddock[/bold] wrote: its sad and awful i know, but rivers have always had an effect on people (enticing) people to enter. If anything a low railing, (say 4 foot high) on both banks from the Food plain at Clifton to Millennium Bridge, less for brick walling where appropriate, and the Fire and Rescue service bring back their water craft. If necessary Very Large signs "DANGER ENTER AT YOUR OWN RISK" or just Wall and Roof the rover in . Just a few thoughts[/p][/quote]"Wall and Roof the rover (sic) in" - this has got be the most astounding thing that anybody has ever commented on the press website. Seriously?! Brilliant! yorkie1980
  • Score: 9

1:46pm Fri 23 May 14

MorkofYork says...

I think more people die in the rivers than on the roads yet the council are very quiet about it ? Funny that, the way they go on about the roads. Either they have a hard time blaming the river for the mistakes of a very small minority of people or their ethics aren't genuine and they just use them as an emotive tool to push their ideology.
I think more people die in the rivers than on the roads yet the council are very quiet about it ? Funny that, the way they go on about the roads. Either they have a hard time blaming the river for the mistakes of a very small minority of people or their ethics aren't genuine and they just use them as an emotive tool to push their ideology. MorkofYork
  • Score: -8

2:21pm Fri 23 May 14

Ageing Hippy says...

MorkofYork wrote:
I think more people die in the rivers than on the roads yet the council are very quiet about it ? Funny that, the way they go on about the roads. Either they have a hard time blaming the river for the mistakes of a very small minority of people or their ethics aren't genuine and they just use them as an emotive tool to push their ideology.
A conspiracy theory about the council and the river, really??? Can you prove that more people die in the river than on the roads? i doubt it! you just stay indoors with your tin foil hat on and it will be all ok until its time for for your medication!
[quote][p][bold]MorkofYork[/bold] wrote: I think more people die in the rivers than on the roads yet the council are very quiet about it ? Funny that, the way they go on about the roads. Either they have a hard time blaming the river for the mistakes of a very small minority of people or their ethics aren't genuine and they just use them as an emotive tool to push their ideology.[/p][/quote]A conspiracy theory about the council and the river, really??? Can you prove that more people die in the river than on the roads? i doubt it! you just stay indoors with your tin foil hat on and it will be all ok until its time for for your medication! Ageing Hippy
  • Score: 7

5:23pm Fri 23 May 14

Meirion M says...

The river Ouse, like all rivers in this country and abroad, are safe if taken with care by people.
If someone wishes to enter the river, it is their choice at then end of the day.
As for a "conspiracy" theory about the council and the river is beyond belief.
Take a big breathe and think of England!
The river Ouse, like all rivers in this country and abroad, are safe if taken with care by people. If someone wishes to enter the river, it is their choice at then end of the day. As for a "conspiracy" theory about the council and the river is beyond belief. Take a big breathe and think of England! Meirion M
  • Score: 7

7:18pm Fri 23 May 14

Buzzz Light-year says...

MorkofYork wrote:
I think more people die in the rivers than on the roads yet the council are very quiet about it ? Funny that, the way they go on about the roads. Either they have a hard time blaming the river for the mistakes of a very small minority of people or their ethics aren't genuine and they just use them as an emotive tool to push their ideology.
There's absolutely no way more people die in the rivers than on the roads.
[quote][p][bold]MorkofYork[/bold] wrote: I think more people die in the rivers than on the roads yet the council are very quiet about it ? Funny that, the way they go on about the roads. Either they have a hard time blaming the river for the mistakes of a very small minority of people or their ethics aren't genuine and they just use them as an emotive tool to push their ideology.[/p][/quote]There's absolutely no way more people die in the rivers than on the roads. Buzzz Light-year
  • Score: 3

7:21pm Fri 23 May 14

Buzzz Light-year says...

@ Victoria Prest -
witnessed two passer-bys jump


Passers-by.
Didn't that stick out like a big ugly sore thumb when you wrote it?
Where are the proof-readers and sub-editors?

How is it that people who struggle with words keep getting jobs based around words?
@ Victoria Prest - [quote]witnessed two passer-bys jump [/quote] Passers-by. Didn't that stick out like a big ugly sore thumb when you wrote it? Where are the proof-readers and sub-editors? How is it that people who struggle with words keep getting jobs based around words? Buzzz Light-year
  • Score: 0

8:59pm Fri 23 May 14

York City Blues says...

Ageing Hippy wrote:
MorkofYork wrote:
I think more people die in the rivers than on the roads yet the council are very quiet about it ? Funny that, the way they go on about the roads. Either they have a hard time blaming the river for the mistakes of a very small minority of people or their ethics aren't genuine and they just use them as an emotive tool to push their ideology.
A conspiracy theory about the council and the river, really??? Can you prove that more people die in the river than on the roads? i doubt it! you just stay indoors with your tin foil hat on and it will be all ok until its time for for your medication!
I don't think medication is the answer they're too far gone. Probably best leave them in their own little world.
[quote][p][bold]Ageing Hippy[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]MorkofYork[/bold] wrote: I think more people die in the rivers than on the roads yet the council are very quiet about it ? Funny that, the way they go on about the roads. Either they have a hard time blaming the river for the mistakes of a very small minority of people or their ethics aren't genuine and they just use them as an emotive tool to push their ideology.[/p][/quote]A conspiracy theory about the council and the river, really??? Can you prove that more people die in the river than on the roads? i doubt it! you just stay indoors with your tin foil hat on and it will be all ok until its time for for your medication![/p][/quote]I don't think medication is the answer they're too far gone. Probably best leave them in their own little world. York City Blues
  • Score: 0

11:37am Sat 24 May 14

MorkofYork says...

How many people have died on the roads in York this year ?, 4 in the rivers already ? I know at the very least which gets more press coverage.
I never said it was a conspiracy, just that if their concern about peoples safety on the roads was genuine then their concern should carry over to the rivers, as you would expect for to happen for people with that mentality.
How many people have died on the roads in York this year ?, 4 in the rivers already ? I know at the very least which gets more press coverage. I never said it was a conspiracy, just that if their concern about peoples safety on the roads was genuine then their concern should carry over to the rivers, as you would expect for to happen for people with that mentality. MorkofYork
  • Score: 0

1:19pm Sat 24 May 14

York City Blues says...

MorkofYork wrote:
How many people have died on the roads in York this year ?, 4 in the rivers already ? I know at the very least which gets more press coverage.
I never said it was a conspiracy, just that if their concern about peoples safety on the roads was genuine then their concern should carry over to the rivers, as you would expect for to happen for people with that mentality.
Well what you did was add the word York into your recent statement. I was more interested why you thought it was the council's fault. You can't blame them for everything you know.
[quote][p][bold]MorkofYork[/bold] wrote: How many people have died on the roads in York this year ?, 4 in the rivers already ? I know at the very least which gets more press coverage. I never said it was a conspiracy, just that if their concern about peoples safety on the roads was genuine then their concern should carry over to the rivers, as you would expect for to happen for people with that mentality.[/p][/quote]Well what you did was add the word York into your recent statement. I was more interested why you thought it was the council's fault. You can't blame them for everything you know. York City Blues
  • Score: 0

2:12pm Sat 24 May 14

MorkofYork says...

I was refering to the council, their attitude with the roads in a story about York's river, obviously i was talking about York. I didn't try to blame them at any point. I just noticed that more people seem to be dying in the rivers yet the council are pouring 100's of 1000's of pounds in to the roads under the guise of safety.

Their concerns for peoples safety are about as genuine as their concerns for pollution, which they then go and deliberately increase

I'm not part of any "them", i speak for myself based on my own observations.
I was refering to the council, their attitude with the roads in a story about York's river, obviously i was talking about York. I didn't try to blame them at any point. I just noticed that more people seem to be dying in the rivers yet the council are pouring 100's of 1000's of pounds in to the roads under the guise of safety. Their concerns for peoples safety are about as genuine as their concerns for pollution, which they then go and deliberately increase I'm not part of any "them", i speak for myself based on my own observations. MorkofYork
  • Score: 0

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