A HERO policeman saved the life of a Padiham teenager swept down the River Calder.
PC Graeme Lund dived in to rescue the 16-year-old boy after he disappeared beneath the water at a weir along the raging river.
The Padiham-based constable battled strong currents in the swollen channel to reach the stricken youth.
The boy was plucked to safety by the heroic officer with the help of his colleague, PCSO Danny Rowland, on Friday night. Paramedics took the teen to the Royal Blackburn Hospital. It is believed he was suffering from hypothermia and shock.
Police had been trying to arrest the youth and another teenager near the Cooperative Supermarket when he leapt into the river to escape.
The teen, who is believed to have been involved in a street disturbance, tried to swim across the swollen channel but was swept downstream.
The Fire Service’s Swiftwater Rescue Team was scrambled around 7-40pm in a bid to rescue the boy who had become trapped near the weir off Station Road.
But the boy dropped down the weir and disappeared under the water – so quick-thinking PC Lund plunged into the water after him. The officer managed to reach the stricken boy but strong currents pulled the pair under Station Road bridge. PSCO Rowland dived into the water to help pull the boy to safety with PC Lund.
Crew manager Darren Bowers from Padiham Fire Station, said: “The police had been arresting some lads. One of them jumped in and tried to swim the river but was swept away.
“He went through the weir twice. He was in the water for 30 minutes but by the time we got there he had been saved and dragged out.
“He was very lucky to escape.”