Three Durham men honoured for attempted river rescue

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A retired policeman and two students have been commended for their bravery after they plunged into a river in an attempt to rescue a woman.

The 25-year-old was spotted struggling in the River Wear, near Prebends Bridge, Durham, in July last year.

John Davies, 72, Michael Perkins, 19, and Peter Lawley, 21, dived in and pulled the woman out. She later died.

The men have been awarded certificates from St John Ambulance and the Royal Humane Society.

Mr Davies, who is also a former lifeguard from County Durham, was on the river bank when he spotted the woman.

Physically unharmed

Mr Perkins, of Bishop Auckland, and Mr Lawley, from Gateshead, were on the opposite bank and went into the water when they saw what was happening.

All three were exhausted after being in the cold water for some time and were eventually helped out by Sgt Colin Dobson and PC Mark Ogilvie who gave the woman first aid.

A spokesman for Durham Police said: "The river was more than 10 feet deep with a strong current and branches and other debris were hindering their efforts.

"The woman was eventually taken to the University Hospital of North Durham, but sadly she died without regaining consciousness several days later.

"All three rescuers were wet through, exhausted and muddy after their ordeal, but physically unharmed."

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