Leicester

Police ordered not to join rescue attempts at pond

The scene of the accident
Image caption The brothers had been walking in Watermead County Park

A man heroically rescued a stranger who had fallen into a frozen lake while police were ordered not to go on to the ice, an inquest has heard.

Adam Whitehead, 22, rescued Ramesh Dattani on 8 January 2010 at Watermead Country Park, in Leicester.

But his two brothers, Dinesh Dattani, 45, and Kisor Narandos, 55, who fell with him, both died.

An officer told the inquest he had not gone on to the ice as he lacked the necessary training and equipment.

Leicester Coroner Catherine Mason recorded a verdict of accidental death for both men.

Cardiac arrest

Police sergeant Andy Price said: "Officers attempted to walk out on to the ice. We couldn't effect the rescue of the two bodies in the water as we didn't have specialist kit or training for that sort of rescue."

He described this inability to rescue the men as "frustrating", adding: "We can only work with what we've got and the training that we've had."

The inquest heard that the brothers, from Leicester, had gone to the park that day to feed the ducks when they inadvertently walked on to the frozen lake.

Their immersion in the water caused hypothermia and cardiac arrest in both men, who were pronounced dead in Leicester Royal Infirmary later that afternoon.

But another police sergeant giving evidence, Mark Ringrose, told how he had contravened official guidelines not to attempt a rescue on the ice.

Asked by Coroner Catherine Mason why he did this without the necessary training and kit, he said: "I was trying to save his life. He was potentially still alive. I just did it really."

Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service, which was also called to the scene, instructed him not to do this, he said.

He added: "It was a very heated moment. I was reacting to the situation in front of me. The frustration was there was a human being potentially alive and we, the emergency services, weren't doing anything about it."

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