Man pulled from river in critical condition

IPSWICH: Witnesses today told of their horror at watching helplessly as an unconscious man floated past them before being hauled to the banks of a river.

Staff and customers of The Station Hotel in Burrell Road looked on as a man floated under the Princes Street bridge yesterday afternoon.

A police officer was able to wade into the water and haul the man on to the river bank, where paramedics attempted to revive him.

Officers were first alerted to the drama after receiving several calls from members of the public who reported seeing a man in the river Orwell at around 4.45pm.

Dozens of people watched from the bridge as emergency services arrived at the scene.

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The man was eventually pulled from the water behind the CarpetRight store in Commercial Road and taken to Ipswich Hospital in a “critical condition”.

Police said the incident was not being treated as suspicious.

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A witness, who was inside The Station Hotel as the drama unfolded, said: “He floated under the bridge and past the pub.

“He was wearing dark clothes and black trainers or shoes and it looked to me like he was face down.

“The first policeman on the scene went straight into the water. He waded in and pulled him over to the side where another officer helped drag him out. Then more police came running down.

“He was definitely unconscious when they dragged him out because they were doing CPR and were using a defibrillator on him.

“There were three or four people in the pub at the time but around 20 or 30 on the bridge and everyone was looking to see what was going on.

“We didn’t see him come round because he was stretchered back under the bridge and an ambulance took him away.”

Police last night said the man was in critical condition at Ipswich Hospital.

The rescue is the latest in a series of incidents along that stretch of the river. The body of Sandra Warne, 46, of Barrack Lane in Ipswich was found floating in the river in March, not far from the Station Hotel. She was declared dead at the scene. A week earlier, a woman slipped into the river and had to be rescued by the emergency services.

Police would like to hear from anyone with any information about yesterday’s incident, especially if they saw a man in or close to the river.

Witnesses should call Ipswich Police on 01473 613500.

Do you know the man? Call the newsdesk on 01473 324790 or e-mail

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