Man Leaps Into Ice-Cold Lake to Rescue Baby Only to Find It’s Just a Doll

January 19, 2018 Updated: September 26, 2019

A man waded into an ice-cold lake to rescue what he thought was a baby, but then he realized it was just a doll.

James Dowley, 28, was in the car with his father when they noticed what looked like a baby floating in the water.

Pulling over, Dowley quickly rushed into the freezing water to rescue the baby, but when he reached it he found it was actually a realistic-looking doll.

His father captured the sequence of events in a series of photos, which were ultimately posted to Facebook on Jan. 9, with various people commenting on how brave he was.

He wrote, “Myself and my father and couldn’t leave without confirmation [of what it was] or ringing the emergency services. So, quick splash in and out confirmed it was a large doll. Could not sleep tonight without knowing!”

Dowley, from Ellesmere in Shropshire, northwest England, is the father of a 10-month-old baby girl himself and said “the thought of it being an actual child was horrific,” reported SWNS.

“From a distance it looked very real and we were starting to convince ourselves that it was actually a real person. It was like something out of a horror movie. I had no idea what I was going to find when I jumped in there, it was very scary,” he told SWNS.

But, he said, he didn’t think he was as brave as people are saying, although he did confirm the water was “absolutely freezing.”

“I don’t think that it was particularly brave, I was doing what I hoped anyone else would have done,” he said.

“I did feel like a bit of an idiot, coming out of the water carrying a toy doll, but at the end of the day it’s better to be safe than sorry.”

Follow John on Twitter: @jdsmithies