THE relieved wife of a tourist who had a heart attack on a boat in the middle of Windermere has paid tribute to the emergency services who saved his life.

Father-of-two Ian Clarke, 50, was enjoying a day trip to the Lake District with his wife Jane and some friends on Saturday.

After a healthy lunch on board their 28ft boat, called Roulette, Mr Clarke, who lives in Northwich, Cheshire, began to feel pains in his chest and up his left arm.

“It came as a bit of shock and wasn’t expected at all,” said a grateful Mrs Clarke.

“He said he didn’t feel well so we rushed him to dry land quickly.”

Mrs Clarke, a nurse, added: “It’s totally different when you are on the other side but I know what can happen and how vital it is to get to hospital sharpish.”

After managing to reach the western side of England’s largest lake a ferry took the group to Bowness where an ambulance and air ambulance were waiting.

“It all happened so quickly,” she continued. “Everybody has just been so good from the men on the ferry to the paramedics and the hospital staff.”

The incident happened at around 2.50pm and involved the Great North Air Ambulance Service and the North West Ambulance Service.

Mr Clarke was flown to a specialist treatment centre at the Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle where he is still recovering after having a stent inserted.

“From when he first noticed pains to coming out of surgery was around one-and half-hours,” said Mrs Clarke.

“If they hadn’t got there so quickly it could have been a whole different ball game.”