Big Issue seller saved drowning girl with the BROOM he uses to sweep his pitch


A Big Issue seller saved a young girl from drowning – with the BROOM he uses to keep his riverside pitch tidy.

Quick-thinking Istvan Kakas dashed to the rescue when he spotted the child fall into the river during a cycling trip with her family.

The girl’s father jumped into the water but the pair were quickly caught up in the current and were struggling to get back to the bank.

Hungarian-born Istvan saw the drama from his favourite spot on a bridge above the River Avon in Bath, Somerset, and darted across to help with his trusty brush.

He leaned over the water with the handle and managed to reach the dad who was holding onto his frightened daughter and pulled them both to safety.

Istvan, who is known locally for his tidy pitch which he decorates with flowers, said he acted on instinct while others were more interested in filming the incident than helping.

He said: “I didn’t think, I didn’t hesitate for a second.

“I acted on reflex, everyone else was just filming it on their phones and seemed too stunned to help.”

Once the father and daughter were safely out of the water, an ambulance turned up and they were treated by paramedics at the scene.

Istvan, a trained chef, added: “The little girl got checked over by the ambulance due to being in the freezing water, and was treated for shock.

“Her first question was where’s my bicycle?”

Istvan sells the Big Issue from a pitch at Halfpenny Bridge, between Bath Spa station and Widcombe.


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