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Policeman performs daring rescue after plunge..

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Bert Moffat
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Policeman performs daring rescue after plunge..

Post by Bert Moffat » Mon Mar 14, 2011 7:35 pm

http://www.thecourier.co.uk/News/Dundee ... lunge.html

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A policeman plunged into Victoria Dock, Dundee, on Saturday to rescue a 56-year-old man who had fallen from the quayside.

While unable to pull the man to safety, PC Colin Campbell kept him afloat until they could both be lifted to shore by teams from the fire and rescue service and Broughty Ferry lifeboat.

The drama started at around 6pm on Saturday, when the alarm was raised by a wedding guest on the Frigate Unicorn, the ship's manager Bob Hovell told The Courier. Mr Hovell's efforts to help the man were delayed when he found a nearby lifebelt store was empty, which he said highlighted the danger of members of the public removing the life-saving equipment. He said, "We actually had a wedding on board the ship and one of the guests had gone outside for a smoke. Next thing, she came back in screaming that there was a man in the dock.

"I went running out and saw him in a corner of the dock behind the ship. I went to the nearest lifebelt store, but it was empty, so I took a lifebelt we had on board and threw it and got him to grab hold of it to keep him afloat until help arrived."

Mr Hovell said lifebelts frequently go missing from the stores along the quay — it was only by chance one was readily to hand. He said, "The lifebelt I had was actually one we found in the dock. At that time there was one already in the lifebelt store, so we kept it on board."

PC Campbell, who was one of the first on the scene, arrived and — realising the danger the man was in — stopped only to don a life vest before jumping in the water to help him. When PC Campbell found he was unable to pull the man to safety, he held him above the water until other emergency service colleagues arrived.

A water rescue team from Tayside Fire and Rescue was called, and the inshore lifeboat from Broughty Ferry was dispatched at the request of Forth coastguard. However, the RNLI crew had to leave the lifeboat as the man in the water was inside the tidal gates, said spokesman Stephen Stack. He said, "Two RNLI crew entered the water to assist the casualty and keep the person afloat and — in conjunction with a fire rescue team and the police — the person was removed from the water and passed over to waiting paramedics."

Officers from Kingsway East fire station, with training in water rescue techniques and wearing protective clothing, also entered the river to assist, using throwlines and lifebelts. Both PC Campbell and the rescued man were taken by ambulance to Ninewells Hospital. Sergeant Iain Lennox praised PC Campbell's actions. He said, "PC Campbell did a fantastic job, and although he was very cold he was in no immediate danger."

PC Campbell suffered no ill effects from his time in the water and was released from hospital. The 56-year-old man was admitted to a short stay ward for observation.

He was later released from hospital.