A couple who jumped into Helston Boating Lake to save the life of an elderly woman they found floating in the water during the early hours of the morning have spoken of the moment they were woken by her cries.

Police have told Sue Mallinder and Alan Goldsworthy that had they not pulled the pensioner from the lake when they did, she probably wouldn't be alive today.

The woman, who was in her seventies and believed to have been from Porthleven, was taken to the Royal Cornwall Hospital in a "severe condition" with hypothermia, but was subsequently said to be improving with treatment.

Speaking to the Packet this week, Sue said: "The police did say that any later she wouldn't be here.

"We were just lucky that we heard her; we didn't expect to find what we saw. And very lucky for her."

The couple, who live a row of houses back from Coronation Park, were woken at around 4.30am last Wednesday by a noise they initially thought was cats, before realising it actually came from a human.

Sue said: "Alan has the window open very slightly and he heard her. She didn't scream constantly; it was a noise and then it would go dead. We had to wait in between. I would hate to say how long she was in there.

"We quickly threw something on and went to investigate, phoning the police as we were going along. All of a sudden we saw her floating in the middle of the boating lake.

"We jumped in and pulled her out."

With heavy rain and hail falling all around, they carried her over to a bench underneath the nearby shelter, where Sue put her coat on top of the woman's soaking wet clothes before going back to fetch blankets.

"She wasn't very responsive but she was alive when we pulled her out," added Sue. "She was wearing just very thin clothes."

She said "nothing goes through your mind" in that situation, explaining: "You just do it. We just jumped in; it doesn't matter if it's cold, or deep. You don't think, you just jump in."

By the time the woman had been taken to hospital in an ambulance and they had been interviewed by police, it was time for them to leave for work, with Sue a contractor at RNAS Culdrose and Alan a civil servant also on the base.

She said they were just pleased that they had heard her.

Sonia Wood, who lives opposite the lake, also called 999 after being woken by screaming that she too thought was cats at first.

She gave her son towels and a blanket to take over to the woman, who by this point was no longer making any noise and appeared unconscious.

Speaking the morning after, Sonia said: "I'd just like to know who she is and if she's alright."

The son of the pensioner has since passed on his thanks, through police, to everyone who came to her aid.

Police had initially put out an appeal for help in identifying her and it remains a mystery as to how she came to be there.

However, officers have confirmed they will not be investigating the incident, as it is linked to an ongoing medical condition, and and the woman will continue to receive support from medical professionals.