A BRAVE Scout leader rescued a woman from fast-flowing flood waters on the night he was flooded out of his own home.

Kentdale district commissioner Michael Ryan was walking from Kendal's Shap Road to stay with a Scouting colleague when he saw the woman floundering, on Sandylands.

The force of the water had knocked her off her feet and she was being swept towards a nearby beck and the River Kent when Michael put himself in danger by reaching out his walking pole and pulling her to safety.

Now hailed a Gazette Flood Hero, Michael's courage came to light when the grateful woman wrote to national Scout headquarters to praise his actions during her "nightmare experience" - signing her letter simply as Michelle.

"I have since retraced my route and I am convinced that without the actions taken by my "angel" I would not be here to send this letter," she wrote.

Michael gave the woman "some sound health advice" on the effects of swallowing floodwater and offered her his coat - which she declined - and walking pole. "I did ask how he saved me and he just said, I did my duty as a Scout leader," she wrote.

Michael, who is supervisor at Booths' Artisan cafe, in Kendal, is moving back into his house this week. "To me I was just doing something because somebody was in trouble," he told the Gazette, "but other people have said it was quite a courageous thing that I did."