A pair of heroic window cleaners used the tools of their trade to save a man drowning in a Leeds lake.
Neil Caden, 46, and Ferdinand Henriques, 41, known as Junior, were cleaning the windows at Lakeside Cafe at Roundhay Park, early on Tuesday morning. (July 3)
Neil, from Garforth, spotted two men on the waters edge at around 9am. One of the men jumped into the lake and swam to the other side before his companion followed and quickly got into difficulties.
Neil told the YEP: “He wasn’t a strong swimmer and I could tell he wasn’t going to make it. After a while he started slipping under the water and I could tell he was really struggling.”
Both window cleaners jumped over a fence and rushed to the edge of the lake. They used a 35ft telescopic cleaning rod to try and reach the man while his friend remained in the water at the other side.
Neil said: “By this time his face was in the water and he wasn’t strong enough to grab the pole so we knew one of us would have to jump in.”
Without even pausing to take off his shoes or empty his pockets, Junior, from Belle Isle, dived into the cold water and grabbed the drowning man.
Neil then held the pole and guided both men to the side of the lake, tending to them while a passer-by contacted the emergency services.
A West Yorkshire Police spokesman said the 49-year-old man’s injuries were not life threatening.
Neil added: “We don’t think we’ve been heroes – at the end of the day, you should do it for anyone and at the time you don’t give it a second thought. I’m just glad he’s OK.”
Dedicated Neil and Junior both returned to the cafe first thing yesterday morning to finish cleaning the windows.