31/01/2008

Police Rescue Mystery Woman From Lagan

An as yet unanmed 32 year-old woman has been pulled to safety from the river Lagan by a passing policeman.

Constable Gary O’Neill and a colleague were called to the scene on their way to a daily briefing. A member of the public had placed the emergency call saying a woman was in the Lagan. On arrival at the scene at around 7.15am the constable found the woman clinging onto the anchor chain of a moored boat near Lanyon Place.

Members of the public, including the person who placed the call had already made attempts to help the woman who had been unresponsive in the water.

The constable said: "The lady's head started to go under the water."

The 29-year-old police constable who joined the PSNI in 2004 then decided to enter the bitterly cold river.

"I removed my gun rig and went down the slip steps," officer O’Neill recounted.

After pulling the woman to safety, an ambulance crew who had arrived at the scene immediately took the woman for treatment.

Describing the water as "very cold", the constable added that he did not have an opportunity to speak to the woman after she was saved, leaving the circumstance surrounding the incident at present a mystery.

The courageous constable, who described himself as a competent swimmer, said: "Part of our job is to save life, if I had to do it again I would."

(DW)

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