Heroic boat crew saves 'drunken' bridge jumper from notorious South Yorkshire canal

The man was rescued by a crew from one of the activity centre's boats.
The man was rescued by a crew from one of the activity centre's boats.
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Heroic rescuers pulled a drunk man out of a notorious South Yorkshire canal after he jumped from a bridge and became stuck in the silt.

The man jumped into the Sheffield and South Yorkshire navigation canal near Swinton for a 'cool-off swim' on Monday, May 14.

Staff from the Swinton Lock Activity Centre - who were fortunately in the area with boat passengers at the time of the incident - immediately rushed to his aid, pulling him out minus only his trainers.

Manager, Jayne Senior, was full of praise for her staff whose actions, she said, may well have averted a fatality.

She said: "They did an amazing job. All our crews are very highly trained in water rescue.

"Canals are one of the most dangerous places to jump in water because of the silt and the stagnant, dirty water.

"As it happens, the passengers who witnessed it were a group of children - so it became a great lesson for them in recognising the dangers posed by canals."

When the man was finally removed from the water, Jayne said he reportedly told his rescuers 'that wasn't the best idea was it?'

She added the distressing incident brought to mind several other tragedies that had taken place on the same stretch in recent years.

In 2011, eight-year-old Matthew Cartwright from Mexborough drowned after falling into the canal near Talbot Road in Swinton.

And in July 2016, 11-year-old Subhaan Ali died after getting into trouble in the canal at Parkgate in Rotherham.

Just a few weeks ago, the Sheffield Fire and Rescue Service issued advice to residents about the dangers of swimming in open water.

Area Manager, Steve Helps, said: “We regularly receive 999 calls in the summer about people getting into difficulty in water, so it’s only a matter of time before someone’s safety is really put at risk unless people listen to our advice.

"It can be tempting to cool off in the summer months, but stick to a swimming pool. Hundreds of people drown each year in the UK and places like rivers, lakes or flooded quarries are completely unsuitable for swimming as they hide a number of hidden dangers.”