AN HEROIC Hampshire man who saved a teenage boy from a swollen river has rescued another child while on holiday.

Alan Smith, 58, of Andover, was travelling with his wife in The Gambia when he dragged a toddler from a burning hut.

The Environment Agency worker, based in Winchester, first showed his courage when he saved one of a group of boys playing in a boat on the swollen River Wallington, near Fareham, in October.

Three of the young teenagers fell into the water and Alan waded into the torrent to save Robert Richardson who was clinging desperately to a small overhanging branch.

In December Alan, a Test Valley borough councillor, was visiting camps and villages in The Gambia and southern Senegal when a hut in the village he was in caught fire in the night, trapping an 18-month-old girl.

Alan said: "Everyone was panicking and didn't seem to know what to do, so I organised a chain of people to pass water from the well to put the fire out."

The girl was pulled free but had bad burns on her legs and arms and Alan had to use all his skills to make sure she survived.

He said: "The lack of knowledge about first aid was horrifying - I had to forcibly stop people from trying to put cooking oil on the burns and get them to use water instead."

Alan took the girl to a clinic 15 miles away and gave the villagers some money to help with the medical costs. He was later told she was expected to live.

But the adventure did not stop there, as Alan, a former Hampshire police officer, also helped in the arrest of a man for cattle rustling the following day.

After seeing a local policeman struggling with the man, Alan stepped in to help again.

Now safely back in Britain Alan is looking forward to a holiday in Jordan and a safari later in the year, but being married to a hero is hard for his wife.

Alan said: "She just turns her eyes to the heavens and walks away."