The rescue, reported in the Newcastle Chronicle, was carried out by Dave Egan, 44, who lives in Perth, Western Australia. While visiting family in his hometown of Leeds he had taken the opportunity to travel to Tyneside to meet a friend.

He spotted the woman in trouble in the river shortly after mid-day, jumped in and pulled her to the bank, where he was able to carry her up a ladder to the quayside.

A crowd had gathered, and staff at a nearby pub came to the woman's assistance before the emergency services turned up.

Northumbria Police said that she had climbed down the ladder to the water but had sustained no serious injuries.

“I’m a scuba-diving instructor and first-aid trainer, and regularly teach rescue courses – this certainly helped me evaluate the risks and requirements before entering the water,” Egan told the paper. “I hope the young lady involved is recovering well and receives the help she needs.

“I’m still rather embarrassed about the ‘hero’ title, and not one for wanting any limelight.”

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