Cyclists in Doncaster river rescue drama

Scott Fraser and David Dowling, of Balby, saw a man laying in the River Don and helped emergency services to pull him out. Picture: Marie Caley NDFP River Don MC 1
Scott Fraser and David Dowling, of Balby, saw a man laying in the River Don and helped emergency services to pull him out. Picture: Marie Caley NDFP River Don MC 1
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A cyclist who helped rescue a man from a Doncaster river says he was just doing ‘what any other moral human being’ would do.

David Dowling was riding his bike next to the River Don with his friend Scott Fraser when he noticed something at the other side of the water.

He said: “I couldn’t tell what it was at first. I didn’t know if it was a person, a pile of clothes or a mannequin, I just knew that something wasn’t right.

“We rode round to the other side of the river to see what was going on as fast as we could. I’d say it took us about 20 to 30 minutes to get there.”

Once the pair arrived at the embankment, Scott went down to the edge of the water to investigate – and discovered a man laying on his side, with half of his body in the water.

David said: “Once I realised it was a man I called up to David and he called the emergency services. I could see that he was moving, he kept putting his head in and out of the water.

“I stepped out a little so my foot was in the water to get a bit closer to him. I asked him what his name was and if he was alright.

“He mumbled back, I couldn’t really tell what he was saying, but he did tell me to leave him alone.

“I knew David had called for an ambulance so I told him that help was in its way.”

He added he believed the man, who has not been identified, had been drinking.

David, aged 31, of Balby, said paramedics were having difficulty locating the men, so he rode to a nearby street to meet them.

“I put my phone in my pocket and rode as fast as I could to Ramsden Road in Hexthorpe.

“It would probably take an average person two minutes to get there on the bike, but I did it in about 30 seconds because I knew this man needed medical help.

“Scott said he was very cold so we guessed he had already been in the water for some time.

“Once I was on Ramsden Road the paramedics quickly found me and they were running behind me as I rode back to where the man was.”

Firefighters and police had also been called to the scene to assist.

Scott, 35, of Balby, helped emergency personnel pull the man, who is in his 50s, from the water.

David added: “The emergency services all said thank to us for helping, but I just did what any other moral human being would.

“I think if it had been even another half an hour the outcome could have been very different.”

A South Yorkshire Police spokesman said: “The man, who is in his 50s, had entered the water close to Ramsden Road. He was taken to hospital following the incident to be checked over but is not believed to have any injuries.”

A Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust spokesman said: “We sent a rapid response vehicle and an ambulance. The man was taken to Doncaster Royal Infirmary with minor injuries.”