Courageous officers saved man's life in canal rescue

PC Martin Ward and PC Claire Wilson
PC Martin Ward and PC Claire Wilson
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Two police officers have been praised for their bravery in potentially saving a man’s life after he jumped into an icy canal on a freezing cold day at the weekend.

PCs Martin Ward and Claire Wilson, on her first independent patrol since graduating, were on response patrol in Burnley town centre on Sunday when they received reports a man was threatening to jump into the Leeds and Liverpool Canal, near Active Way.

The officers first attempted to talk to the man but he jumped in. The two immediately removed their equipment and jumped in after to save him.

An armed response unit, mobilised because they carry medical equipment and have more advanced first aid training, then saved the man’s life a second time when they treated him after he was removed from the canal.

Insp Carole Langhorn, from Burnley Police, praised the actions of all the officers.

She said: “This incident just proves the very difficult challenges our officers face on a daily basis. It highlights the different dangers on any given day, and the unexpected situations presented to officers.

“This day in question was a particularly cold day and the officers had to do a very quick risk assessment before they decided to jump in the canal.

“PC Ward commented afterwards just how cold the water was. He said he was struggling to breathe and move in the water. We are particularly proud of PC Wilson as this was her first day on independent patrol. Luckily, there was a change of clothes, hot shower and drink waiting for them at the station!

“I truly believe that the actions of PCs Ward and Wilson, as well as those of the armed response unit, saved this man’s life twice.”

Insp Langhorn said the officers would be recommended for official recognition.