‘Heroic’ Leeds men who rescued woman from River Aire after argument receive Royal Humane Society awards

Lee Deighton pictured by Leeds Bridge on the River Aire, Leeds, where he jumped into the river to save a woman who had fallen in.
Lee Deighton pictured by Leeds Bridge on the River Aire, Leeds, where he jumped into the river to save a woman who had fallen in.
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Two men who risked their lives to save a woman from the River Aire in Leeds are to receive awards for their “heroic” actions.

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Lee Deighton, a West Yorkshire Police special constable, and Rhys Wilkinson, who is with the armed forces and based in Rothwell, plunged into the freezing cold waters to rescue the 23-year-old last November.

The pair have now been given bravery awards by the Royal Humane Society.

Society secretary Dick Wilkinson said: “This could easily have turned into a treble fatality. All three could have drowned. But thanks to the courage of these two men they all survived. They were heroic and richly deserve the awards they are to receive.”

The incident happened on November 29 after Mr Wilkinson, 26, saw the woman enter the water near Bridge End following an argument with a man.

He got in and was fighting to keep her from going under when Mr Deighton, 33, who is also manager of Morley Leisure Centre, arrived on the scene.

As the woman slipped in and out of consciousness, the pair managed to get her to the side of the river and clung to a ledge until the fire service arrived.

Mr Deighton is one of several West Yorkshire Police personnel who will get awards from the Royal Humane Society.

Castleford PCs Alan Fish, Matthew Jackson, Andrew Makin and Simon Ragsdale will be recognised after stopping a man from hanging himself.

PCs Richard Hadfield and Paul McMurran, who tried to save a Pontefract woman from taking her own life, will also be honoured. And PCs Damian Crow and Nathan Rayne will get awards for rescuing a man from the River Calder in Castleford.

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