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Police officers praised for life-saving actions after rescuing man from fast-flowing water

November 11, 2019
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Quick-thinking Nottinghamshire Police officers saved a man’s life by rescuing him from fast flowing water after he’d fallen into a drainage ditch in Sutton-in-Ashfield.

Police received reports that a man was shouting for help from a field at the side of a farm off the B6028 Stoneyford Road.

Mansfield-based PCs Jonathan Green and Jim Bray and Kirkby-in-Ashfield-based colleagues PCs Jeremy Gascoyne and Joel Hughes, arrived at the scene within minutes of the report, which was received shortly before 4am on Saturday 26 October 2019, and heard the man screaming for help.

PC Green said: "It appeared the man had fallen down a steep bank and into a drainage ditch which was full of water.

"He had become trapped under a bridge and was clinging onto it due to the strong flow, with only his face out of the water.

"The banking was steep and due to the darkness and the rain it was hard to see the distance of the drop.

"All of our officers had torches on and a first aid kit was taken by PC Gascoyne as we looked for a route down.

"I shone my torch down the banking and saw the man. I kept my torch on him and told my colleagues where he was.

"It appeared there was somewhat of a route to get to him but this required climbing over fencing into the field and then getting down a steep muddy bank.

"I climbed over the fence and made my way down the bank which had turned to sludge, making it difficult to get down.

"It was only as I got down to him that I realised he was submerged in the water and being pulled under the bridge by the flow."

"I got down on my hands and knees and managed to grab his hand, pulling him towards me. I told the man to reach over before grabbing his other hand and I managed to drag him out of the water onto the muddy field.

"I checked the man for injuries, which he had none, and advised him to stay on his back as he’d put his face in the mud. I then shouted to colleagues who had remained in contact with me.

"I kept the man talking as he was severely cold and due to the length of time he’d been in the water it was likely that hypothermia would be setting in. He didn’t know how he ended up in the ditch."

The officers continued to help the man at the bottom of the bank and, with their torches beginning to dim, had to find a way back up.

PC Green added: "We helped the man to his feet and kept him talking. We explained what we needed him to do as he couldn’t walk or support himself due to being drunk and being severely cold, wet and muddy.

"We managed to get him to the top of the bank and found the farm gate. It was locked so we had to climb over. We helped the man over, preventing him from falling and hurting himself.

"Due to his state and risk of hypothermia we decided to wrap him in a foil blanket and put the heaters in our vehicle on before taking him to the King’s Mill Hospital which was only a short distance away.

"While transporting him to hospital we kept him talking and tried to get his details and a brief account of what happened. This information was then passed onto the Control Room for checks."

The man told officers that he had a teenage son who he believed may still be at home alone. PCs Gascoyne and Hughes went to his home to check on his son and tell him what had happened.

PC Green said: "Myself and PC Bray stayed with the man until the nurses were happy for us to leave. I told the doctor how we’d found him and left him in the care of the hospital staff in good spirits."

The man was treated in hospital and was subsequently discharged.

Reflecting on the officers’ life-saving actions, PC Green said: "It was lucky we heard and then found him when we did as otherwise he might have given up, gone under and could have died.

"We all knew we just had to act fast and get him out of the water. It was a very big team effort and we’re just pleased it had a good outcome. We’d also like to thank the people who reported the incident to the police."

Chief Inspector Kathryn Craner praised the quick-thinking officers.

She said: "This was an exemplary piece of work by all of the officers involved, working together to save this man in very challenging circumstances.

"They displayed true courage, commitment and determination to save the man’s life and their actions were of the highest standards.

"Without their involvement the rescue may not have succeeded. They demonstrated superb teamwork under pressure and immense commitment to protect life."

RESCUE: Pictured from left are PCs Jonathan Green, Jim Bray, Jeremy Gascoigne and Joel Hughes PHOTO: Nottinghamshire Police

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