Policeman's act of heroism hailed after man rescued from canal

Hero policeman James Briggs has been praised after his rescue of a member of the public from a canal.

By Iain Lynn
Wednesday, 13th May 2020, 6:06 pm
Updated Wednesday, 13th May 2020, 6:08 pm

Bodycam footage from fellow officers show the police constable swimming to the rescue after diving into the murky waters of the Ashton Canal wearing his police uniform.

Police had received of concern for the welfare of a man in Ashton-under-Lyne, Greater Manchester.

Officers attended and spotted the man in the water and, though they threw him a rescue rope and called out to direct him to the canal side, he did not respond.

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As he drifted further to an unlit tunnel and out of sight, Pc Briggs decided to jump in and save his life by swimming to the rescue.

He managed to reach the man then other officers standing at the canal side pulled them to safety using a rescue line.

Both were then pulled from the water.

The man was treated by paramedics before being taken to hospital to further receive treatment following the incident on May 6.

Bodycam footage from fellow officers show the police constable swimming to the rescue

Chief Superintendent Chris Allsop of Greater Manchester Police (GMP) said: "As with any incident we respond to, the safety of the public is our number one priority and sometimes that means putting them first, ahead of your own safety.

"Every day our officers and staff go above and beyond to protect the communities we serve and this is certainly a great act of heroism.

"Pc Briggs put himself in danger to rescue the man and thanks to his brave and selfless actions, as well as the help of other officers, the man survived and is receiving the support he needs.

"In this current climate, it can be even more difficult to do our jobs safely and I would like to personally commend Pc Briggs' actions which were a prime example of why people join the force - to protect our communities and make sure they are safe from harm."