A mother has told how she frantically waded through a deep river searching for her missing 10-year-old before the pair were rescued by firefighters.
Aziza Aljahwari and her son Ali were rescued from the River Rheidol in Aberystwyth on Wednesday.
Mrs Aljahwari said the emergency service teams that saved them had “really touched” her heart.
Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service used a rescue sled, throw bags and floating line to retrieve the pair.
Mrs Aljahwari had visited the river on Wednesday with her friend and three of her six children, aged 12, 10 and six.
She said while she and her friend were looking for somewhere to sit her six-year-old son Mohammad dropped a small toy boat into the water and went in after it.
She retrieved Mohammad quickly but Ali had gone into the water after her and was trying to get the boat when she lost sight of him.
“I heard his voice but I couldn’t see him,” she said.
After running onto the road to to get a better view of the river she was unable to see him so asked her friend to call 999 while she waded into the water after him.
Mrs Aljahwari, who cannot swim, said: “I didn’t have any choice. The water became faster. The water was so cold.
“I was scared for my son. I asked Allah to save him.”
Mrs Aljahwari said she was in the water for up to 10 minutes before she eventually saw her son clinging to a tree.
“I slipped,” she said.
“Ali was crying and saying ‘mummy please don’t go’.
“The water was up to my neck. I was frightened, I said ‘Ali don’t come to me, just stay there’.
“I reached Ali and climbed onto the bank of the river. I was trying to call my friend but she couldn’t hear us.”
Mrs Aljahwari, said once she had located Ali she had faith they would be okay: “I didn’t feel scared,” she said.
“I knew the emergency services would come quickly.
“Later Ali told me he had been terrified until I came.”
After calling 999, Mrs Aljahwari’s friend had called her husband and he had made his way to the river and was there to give her a kiss when they were brought out of the water.
“He was very scared,” she added.
Mrs Aljahwari, her husband Jamal and their children moved from Oman to Aberystwyth five years ago for Jamal to study a PHD at the town’s university.
Posting on Facebook after the rescue, Mrs Aljahwari gave a “warm thank you” to those who tried to help them, including Dyfed-Powys Police, Aberystwyth Lifeboat, Welsh Ambulance Service, Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service and the coastguard.
She wrote: “Thank you for your kindness and hard work that day.
“I was truly amazed by your incredible work.
“There were few small unseen moments that really touched my heart that I would like to share.
“For example when fireman tried to break the branches from trees, until blood came out of his hand but he didn’t complain or showed a sign, he did all that just to make sure that I walk safely.
“When we finally reached safety he kneeled down to speak to Ali and try to comfort him and cheer him.
“Or the firefighter who took his jacket off and put it in the ground to protect our feet from the cold.
“Or when a man saw us shivering and quickly asked the helicopter to drop us a blanket and a mat.”
She also thanked people who had supported her “anxious” husband while they were in the water.
She added: “I feel lucky to live in Aber in such a wonderful community where everyone is a family.
“Thank You God for allowing all those people into my life.”
Speaking on Wednesday, Aberystwyth fire station manager Emyr Jones said due to the terrain on the banks of the river, the pair could not be seen and two of his crew members had to enter the water “as a last resort”.
He added the pair were found waist-deep in the water and were “very fortunate”.