Video: Woman’s life saved in Leeds River Aire rescue drama

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POLICE and members of the public worked together to save a woman’s life after she plunged into the icy waters of the River Aire in Leeds city centre.

The four men teamed up to pull the woman to safety during the dramatic river rescue, which happened just before midnight on Friday. Local resident Richard Goc raised the alarm after spotting the woman in the water near Riverside Court in the Calls area of the city.

LIFESAVERS: Richard Johnson (left) with Johnny Waterton, Richard Goc and Mark Spedding.

LIFESAVERS: Richard Johnson (left) with Johnny Waterton, Richard Goc and Mark Spedding.

Mr Goc alerted Jonny Waterton, who was working as security manager at the Backroom club on Call Lane.

Mr Waterton rushed to the scene and laid on the floor at the water’s edge and managed to grab hold of the woman’s hand.

Mr Goc held on to Mr Waterton’s legs to stop him falling in the water as he clung on to the woman.

Meanwhile, special constables Mark Spedding and Richard Johnson, who were patrolling in a police van in the area, were alerted and went to offer help.

The four men worked together to pull the woman out of the river and to safety.

Special constable Spedding, a 49-year-old father-of-two from Normanton near Wakefield, said: “It was freezing on Friday night.

“I don’t think she would have survived if we hadn’t been there to pull her out.

“She was very disorientated, I think that might have been the cold. She was put in an ambulance and taken to hospital.

“I just think she is a very lucky lady. We all went in to automatic pilot and did what we could to help her.”

Special constable Johnson, 29, said: “She was very lucky to survive.”

Police said the woman did not suffer any serious injury as a result of her ordeal.

Supt Sam Millar, of Leeds District Police, praised the actions of the officers and members of the public for their “quick thinking and commitment” in rescuing the woman from a situation that could have had fatal consequences.

Supt Millar said: “The actions of the two special constables, who volunteer their free time to work as police officers, epitomises the values of officers and staff who put themselves in dangerous situations to help other people and protect members of the public.”

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