Officers saved man from river

Chief Constable Jon Stoddart  (right) with PC 's Neville Waller, Mick Orridge and Gary Smith and Acting Sgt Louise Gore who all received bravery awards for saving a man from drowning in the River Wear.

Chief Constable Jon Stoddart (right) with PC 's Neville Waller, Mick Orridge and Gary Smith and Acting Sgt Louise Gore who all received bravery awards for saving a man from drowning in the River Wear.

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THESE heroes have been commended after saving the life of a man who was spotted face-down in the River Wear.

Acting Sergeant Louise Gore, of Durham Police, was first to spring into action after a passer-by reported seeing the body near Milburngate Bridge.

She soon found the motionless figure who appeared trapped against the weir under the bridge.

Pcs Mick Orridge, Gary Smith and Neville Waller then joined her and all four waded into the river over silt, uneven rocks and slippery algae until they were able to grab the “body”.

As soon as they turned over the lifeless man and got him into shallower water, the team started chest compressions and mouth-to-mouth.

Within a couple of minutes the man started to come round, coughing up large amounts of water as he tried to breathe more easily.

The victim, a 52-year-old, was then taken by ambulance to the University Hospital of North Durham for treatment.

The man later revealed he deliberately jumped into the water and was kept in hospital for assessment.

Now the Durham Constabulary officers have been awarded certificates of commendation for their actions from the Royal Humane Society after the rescue.

Inspector Tony Myers, who nominated the officers, said: “There were many spectators to the rescue as it took place on a busy Friday afternoon in the heart of Durham city.

“The officers arrived at the scene very quickly and kept an open mind as to whether they were dealing with someone who was alive or dead.

“Their swift actions ensured this man’s life was saved.”

The colleagues were presented with the awards by Chief Constable Jon Stoddart at a ceremony at police headquarters in Durham.

@echoeastdurham