Man saved in dramatic river rescue

EMERGENCY services saved a man's life today by hauling him from the River Orwell today in a dramatic rescue.Harwich Lifeboat and the Felixstowe and Holbrook Lifeguard were called with Suffolk police to the river shortly after 3.

EMERGENCY services saved a man's life today by hauling him from the River Orwell today in a dramatic rescue.

Harwich Lifeboat and the Felixstowe and Holbrook Lifeguard were called with Suffolk police to the river shortly after 3.30am.

Keith Churchman, spokesman for Harwich lifeboat crew said: “A 22 year old male was hauled from the water by Harwich RNLI Inshore Lifeboat at 4.10 am.

“The person had entered the water at Stoke Bridge, Ipswich believed to be suicidal.


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“Members of the lifeboat crew handed him over to awaiting police and stated that he was cold, exhausted and rescued just in time.

It is believed the man first resisted attempts by the lifeboat crew, police and a member of the public trying to help.

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He managed to drift from the Princes Street bridge to Stoke Bridge before they caught up with him.

When the man was eventually taken to dry land he was suffering from suspected hypothermia and coughing due to the amount of water he had swallowed.

Firefighters from Princes Street station were also on standby to help but were not required to take part in the rescue

The incident began when a couple sleeping in a home nearby were woken by the 22-year-old man making noises in the water. The woman called 999 while her husband went to the river to help.

The husband and the emergency services went to the Ranelagh Road side of the river to try to help the swimmer who spent around 30 minutes eluding their rescue attempts.

It is believed the man may have been drinking.

Louise Rosher, a spokesman for Suffolk police said: “He went swimming for about 20 minutes and by the time we arrived he was flagging.

“He was deliberately avoiding officers trying to help and was being carried by the current down the river.

“He resisted several attempts to get him out.”

The man, of Gatacre Road off Bramford Road, was finally helped onto dry land and his parents were informed.

He was treated by ambulance crews, who said he was not seriously injured, but was taken to Ipswich Hospital for treatment.

N Do you know the swimmer or the member of the public who tried to help him? Call The Evening Star newsroom on 01473 324788.

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