Dog walker in dramatic river rescue

A DOG walker carried out a dramatic river rescue in Colchester after he saw a woman plunge into the water.

Elliot Furniss

A DOG walker carried out a dramatic river rescue in Colchester after he saw a woman plunge into the water.

The man leapt into the River Colne near North Station Road at about 7.30pm on Tuesday after he witnessed the woman, who police said was drunk at the time, fall in.

The emergency services were called and police arrived as she was being hauled to safety just yards from where the body of murdered mother-of-two Helen Maughan was discovered floating in the river in May 2007.

Fire and ambulance crews were also sent to the scene and the 22-year-old woman was later taken to Colchester General Hospital for treatment for shock and hypothermia.

David Sadler, 51, had just finished work in a nearby office in the Riverside complex and was alerted to the events by the arrival of the emergency services.

Most Read

He said: “I was just finishing work and heard the fire engines and ambulances and saw the firemen run along the bridge.

“Apparently some young girl was drunk and a man pulled her out - he was walking his dog.

“By the time the ambulance and police got there he had helped her out on to the river bank. She was out of it - when they (paramedics) pushed her off it was like she was right out of it.”

An Essex Police spokesman said a call was received at 7.30pm from a member of the public about a woman was drowning in the river near Quilters wine bar in Middleborough.

He said: “Officers arrived to find a 22-year-old local woman being dragged out of the water by the man.

“Paramedics arrived shortly after and conveyed her to hospital. She was suffering from the affects of alcohol intoxication.”

An East of England Ambulance Service spokesman said that after being called at 7.33pm, crews were on the scene within four minutes.

She said: “If this was indeed an alcohol-related incident, it had the potential to be life-threatening so it is obviously a relief it didn't materialise into anything more serious and we hope the patient recovers well.

“We do urge people to think about drinking responsibly, not only for their own safety but because it can impact on our resources which can be stretched at particular times of the day or in particular areas.”

A fire service spokesman confirmed that one Colchester-based crew did attend the incident but were not called into action as the woman was out of the water upon arrival.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter