Bravery nomination for flood heroes

THREE men who battled in vain to save a man from drowning during Sheffield's freak summer floods have been nominated for bravery awards for their efforts.

Thursday, 20th September 2007, 3:25 pm
Updated Thursday, 20th September 2007, 3:37 pm

Christopher Brennan, Richard Tomlinson and Darren Fogg tried desperately to save the life of 68-year-old Peter Harding, who got into difficulty in deep floodwater as he made his way home from work along Newhall Road, Newhall.

An inquest into Mr Harding's death today heard that the widower, of Carwood Green, Pitsmoor, was unable to keep his head above the freezing floodwater underneath Newhall Bridge.

And despite the efforts of Mr Brennan, who was with him in the water when he started struggling, he eventually disappeared from sight.

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Mr Fogg, who was passing by, heard Mr Brennan's cries for help and jumped into the water to pull Mr Harding to safety.

And Mr Tomlinson helped him drag the body out of the water and the pair began giving emergency first aid.

When paramedics arrived they found a faint pulse and raced him to hospital, but he died there a short time later.

A post mortem examination revealed he was suffering from severe heart disease at the time and he suffered an attack after struggling in the water.

Coroner Christopher Dorries, recording a narrative verdict, said: "Mr Harding died in consequence of emersion in floodwater during exceptional weather.

"He suffered a cardiac arrhythmia due to his existing heart disease while struggling in deep water beneath the bridge."

He praised the actions of the three men who tried to save him and said he would be contacting the Royal Humane Society about their efforts.

• Hero tells inquest: "My life flashed before my eyes" - see tomorrow's Star.