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Coleraine river jump man lucky to be alive

Fifty people watched as police and rescue services saved a young man who threw himself from a 50ft bridge yesterday.

Police were contacted by horrified bystanders who witnessed the bare-chested man throw himself from Coleraine’s Sandalford Bridge into the River Bann shortly before 1pm.

The young man — thought to be in his early 20s — was recovering from hypothermia and shock in hospital last night.

Residents of a riverside housing estate watched as police officers desperately tried to reach the man with a throwline from the river bank.

He was pulled to shore by officers before being transported on to a boat by the Bann Rescue Service.

Sean McCarry, regional commander of Northern Ireland’s Community Rescue Service, said: “He is extremely lucky to be out alive. The water would be around four degrees at this time of year. You would not survive at all.

“If it had not been for the police officers’ fast actions, it could have been a very different outcome.”

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