Belfast Telegraph

Hero officer risks life to save drowning woman in Belfast's River Lagan

By Deborah McAleese

A PSNI officer has been hailed a hero after jumping into the River Lagan to save a drowning woman.

The officer was responding to a report that a woman was in the water at the Queen’s Bridge area of Belfast at around 9pm on Thursday. When he spotted her he immediately jumped in to rescue her.

With the aid of a life ring he kept the woman afloat for at least 15 minutes until the Fire Service deployed a rescue boat to bring them both to safety.

The chairman of east Belfast District Policing Partnership, UUP councillor Jim Rodgers, praised the actions of the officer and described him as a hero.

“This officer risked his life to save another person,” he said.

“I think he deserves to be recognised and honoured. I would like to congratulate him. He didn’t think twice about jumping straight in to save this woman.

“The river Lagan has very strong undercurrents and the water will have been very cold, so it was a very dangerous situation.”

He added: “So often people are very critical of our policemen and women, but every day they go on duty not knowing what dangers they might face. They do not think twice about risking their lives for others.

“I hope when people are so quick to criticise our police officers in the future they will remember the great deeds that they do to keep the public safe.”

The incident comes just a few weeks after a policewoman was seriously injured rescuing a man from a dangerous dog.

The officer, who was a new recruit, had to undergo extensive surgery on her hands after she was mauled by a Rottweiler at a house in north Belfast. She saw the dog attacking a man who was lying unconscious on the ground and placed herself between the man and the dog to prevent him from being injured any further.

And earlier this month a police officer was stabbed in the back of the head as he tried to rescue two children from a house in Lurgan during a domestic dispute.

A man had locked himself inside a house with two young children and when the police tried to get inside, the officer was attacked with a knife.

Other police officers who arrived at the scene after the stabbing came under attack from petrol bombs and bricks.

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