UK Politics

Commons security staff praised for rescuing man from Thames

Commons Speaker Lindsay Hoyle, Home Secretary Priti Patel and the three members of Parliament's security team Image copyright PARLIAMENT
Image caption The Commons Speaker said the officers' actions should be recognised

The Commons Speaker has hailed the bravery of Parliament's security team after they saved a man who fell into the River Thames near the building.

Ron Dowson and Habibi Syaaf came to the rescue on Tuesday after the man was found submerged in the freezing water.

Speaker Lindsay Hoyle said the duo, and another man who alerted the officers after seeing the incident on CCTV, should be recognised for their actions.

Mr Syaaf said they were "not heroes" and "did what we were trained for".

The incident took place on Victoria Tower Gardens, on the north side of the Thames.

Mr Syaaf, a Met Police constable, and Mr Dowson, part of Parliament's security detail, found the man clinging to the steps and "struggling to breathe".

"I got down to the last step and urged him to give me his hand, but as I did he lost his grip from a metal mooring ring and started drifting away," explained Mr Syaaf, who has only been working in Parliament for two months.

"I just shouted 'grab my hand' and managed to pull him back onto the first step... The guy was shaking and could not speak.

"I am just so grateful he survived. I'm not a hero - Ron and I just did what we are trained for and what we could do to help."

Sir Lindsay also praised the quick thinking of control room operator Dave Thomas. He spotted the man falling into the water on CCTV and alerted the officers as well as the Police Marine Unit.

"There's no doubt in my mind that if it had not been for Ron, Habib and Dave Thomas, that man could have drowned," he said.

"We are so lucky to have so many brave security staff looking after us in Parliament but also keeping people in the vicinity safe. I would like to think their bravery could be recognised."