Nathan Newton was cycling to work along the footpath next to the River Rother in Old Whittington at around 8.30am on June 25 when he collided with a rock.
The 27-year-old was knocked off his bike and fell eight feet into the river, landing on his back.
“I lay there unconscious in the freezing cold water for around 30 minutes,” said skip yard worker Nathan, of Valley Road, Mastin Moor.
“When I finally woke up, I saw a passer-by and asked him to help me but he said ‘no’ – I couldn’t believe it, shame on him.
“I shouted for help and eventually three lads who work at the nearby Chesterfield Crane Co Ltd came to me and called for assistance.”
One of the men is called Adam Bithell but the other two have said they don’t wish to be named in our story.
The air ambulance, paramedics from East Midlands Ambulance Service and volunteers with Edale Mountain Rescue Team all swiftly attended the scene and managed to carefully rescue Nathan from the river before he was taken to Chesterfield Royal Hospital.
Nathan, who suffered injuries to his hand and back, is now at home recovering.
The dad-of-four said: “It could have been a lot worse – I suppose I got off lightly.
“It’s been a difficult time and an experience I’ll never forget.
“I’d just like to thank everyone who came to my aid that day, in particular those three lads – they’re all life-savers.”
Nathan’s wife Jody added: “I just don’t know how to thank them – they deserve awards.
“When Nathan phoned me to say he’d had an accident on his way to work and had fallen eight feet into the river, my heart just sank.
“I kept looking at our children and thinking to myself ‘please don’t take my husband – my kids need their daddy!’
“He’s lucky to be alive.”