Monday 24 October 2016

Retired firefighter rescues man who jumped into river to save pet Labrador

Michael McHugh

Published 24/08/2015 | 15:39

River Lagan in Belfast
River Lagan in Belfast

A retired firefighter rescued a man from the River Lagan after he entered the water to save his pet Labrador, the fire service said.

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The victim and his pet were hauled out at Shaw's Bridge today by passer-by Paul Waddell.

Fire service group commander Geoff Somerville said: "Paul saved this man's life as well as his pet Labrador.

"Paul rescued the man and his dog from the water and then called the emergency services for further assistance.

"It is clear that Paul's firefihting training resulted in saving this man's life."

The victim was in the water for about 30 minutes. He was treated at the scene by paramedics and was not injured.

Mr Somerville added: "Paul's former colleagues based at Cadogan Fire Station attended the incident so Paul had an impromptu reunion with members of Red Watch, Cadogan.

"It is clear that the saying of 'once a firefighter, always a firefighter' remains true despite Paul being retired from the Service for over six years.

"It is very fortunate Paul was at the scene and took the appropriate actions to prevent a tragedy.

"While we don't encourage members of the public to carry out rescues in case they get into danger themselves, we are pleased that this story had a happy ending."

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