Belfast Telegraph

Police praised for saving driver from Lough Neagh

By Allan Preston

Police officers have been praised for saving a man whose car drifted into Lough Neagh.

The PSNI said the silver Volkswagen entered the water at Lough Road in Antrim shortly before 12.30am yesterday.

By the time the officers arrived the car was partially submerged, with high winds and rough waters making the rescue all the more hazardous.

The vehicle had taken in a substantial amount of water, with officers saying there was a serious risk it would drift further from the shore.

The driver was found to be suffering from hypothermia, was unresponsive and unable to get out of the car by himself.

Four officers entered the lough to help him. There were no passengers in the car.

The rescued man was later taken to hospital for treatment.

Members of the Ambulance Service as well as the Fire and Rescue Service assisted in the effort.

The car was removed from the lough later during the day.

Inspector Claire Gilbert said: "I commend the brave actions of these officers in ensuring the safety of the member of public.

"The swift action of the police officers involved, who in treacherous conditions placed themselves at personal risk, were key to saving this man's life.

"This is an excellent example of the commitment of officers in keeping people safe which resulted in a young man's life being saved last night."

News of the heroic rescue saw widespread praise for the officers on social media, while public representatives added their thanks.

Ulster Unionist councillor for the area Jim Montgomery said: "I commend the police officers for their professionalism and courage in the inclement weather to rescue the gentleman, especially on such a stormy night last night. Their actions have certainly saved a life."

He urged others to take extra care near water during unpredictable weather.

"Any stretch of water in bad weather is dangerous and people do have to be wary," he said.

"I hope the man makes a full recovery and we all wish him well - it must have been scary but thankfully with the bravery of the officers involved, he's still here."

SDLP councillor Roisin Lynch added: "I would like to express my thanks to the quick action of these PSNI officers, operating on such a dreadful evening weather wise. We all would wish this man a speedy recovery and it goes to show you can never be safe enough when you're near water on nights like that."

Belfast Telegraph

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