North West Wales

Police officer helps save two in Porthmadog harbour drama

Porthmadog harbour
Image caption The lifeboat crew manager praised the police officer

A lifeboat crew and a police officer rescued two people after a man got into difficulty trying to save a woman in the water off a bridge at a Gwynedd harbour.

Both were taken to hospital with hypothermia after the drama in Porthmadog at 20:40 GMT on Saturday.

The police officer used an inflatable dinghy on the harbour side to reach the pair until help arrived.

RNLI boss Peter Williams said it was lucky the officer was on the scene.

Holyhead coastguard say they alerted rescue crews, including the Criccieth inshore lifeboat, after police called for assistance.

The police officer was passing in a patrol car when he saw the drama unfolding after the woman entered the water from the Britannia Bridge.

'Unconscious'

He managed to grab a partly inflated dinghy on the harbour side to try to rescue the pair.

The officer tethered the sinking craft to a mooring in the water while awaiting help from a two-person lifeboat crew.

Meanwhile, the local fire station crew were on the harbour side illuminating the scene for lifeboat crewmen Clive Wright and Christopher Fisher.

They ferried three back to shore on their partly submerged dinghy to awaiting paramedics.

Mr Williams, operations manager at Criccieth Lifeboat Station, said the woman, aged 45, was unconscious when the crew reached her and the man, aged 24, was incoherent due to the effects of the cold water.

They were taken to Bangor's Ysbyty Gwynedd hospital for treatment for hypothermia. Their condition is not known.

The police officer was checked by paramedics at the scene but did not require further treatment.

Mr Williams said: "It was very lucky there was a police officer passing.

"This was a very serious incident that required the cooperation of all emergency services.

"Our speedy deployment was instrumental in saving the life of both the woman and the person who jumped in to rescue her.

"This man, and the policeman who assisted, are to be commended for their bravery."

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