Police praise for boys who stopped man from jumping off Sunderland bridge

Friends Kian Henderson and Ellis Coupland, right, who helped talk a man down from the Wearmouth Bridge, after threatening to jump.
Friends Kian Henderson and Ellis Coupland, right, who helped talk a man down from the Wearmouth Bridge, after threatening to jump.
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Police have praised two quick-thinking schoolboys who persuaded a distressed man not to jump to his death.

We reported at the weekend how pals Ellis Coupland and Kian Henderson came to the aid of a person who they noticed was on the wrong side of the railings on Wearmouth Bridge.

Wearmouth Bridge in Sunderland.

Wearmouth Bridge in Sunderland.

The Whitburn lads, both aged 16 and currently doing their GCSEs, chatted to him for 10 minutes and after managing to talk him round by listening to his personal issues saw him climb back onto the bridge’s path.

The man, who thanked the boys for helping him as he was taken care of by police officers, would at the least been likely to have suffered serious injury by jumping from more than 100ft into the water below.

Both Ellis and Kian, who are pupils at Whitburn Church of England Academy, were hailed for their efforts by family, mental health charities and readers.

Now, police have also praised the lads for what they did in intervening last Tuesday night.

A spokeswoman for Northumbria Police said today: “The boys displayed great compassion in helping someone who was clearly distressed, taking the time to stop and speak to the man and we know he was incredibly grateful that they had taken the time to stop and speak to him.”

Publicity and fund-raising officer for Sunderland Samaritans Louise Tindle said: “Sunderland Samaritans would like to commend Ellis and Kian for their kind hearts and bravery when they offered to help someone clearly in distress recently on Wearmouth Bridge.

“We would like to encourage people who feel they have nowhere else to turn to talk to us.”

Visitors to the Echo’s website also paid tribute to the boys in their droves.

Blacknwhite wrote: “They should be given recognition and should be so proud of themselves. Well done lads.”

Sandlad said: “This is a great story and shows young adults at their best. You and your family should be very proud. Well done.”

And jimmyfishbean wrote: “Well done lads, beautiful to see the love and unselfishness you showed. An example to us all.”

Speaking about the incident, Kian, who was walking home with Ellis after the pair had been to the cinema together, said: “I’m glad we managed to talk him round and that he’s now being looked after.

“He said to the police when they came that 10 people had walked past during the time he was on the bridge and hadn’t done anything, and that he was grateful to us for taking time to talk to him.

“Then he shook our hands.”

Anyone thinking of self-harming or taking their own life can call the Samaritans for support and advice on freephone 116 123 or the Sunderland branch of the organisation on 567 7177.

Those suffering can also text 07725 90 90 90 or visit volunteers at the Sunderland branch at 13 Grange Crescent, close to Sunderland city centre.