He said: “It must have been in there for at least an hour. I took it out and it was looking quite dead and limp.
John Fletcher, who normally has his eyes trained on distant galaxies, had to look closer to home when his “big lady tortoise#8221; called Freda disappeared.
“I decided to put my own mouth around the head and give a few short blows having stretched its head out a little.
After looking for an hour for his beloved pet in his garden, Mr Fletcher, who runs the Tuffley Observatory, had almost given up hope when he put his hand into the pond and found Freda at the bottom.