ITV's Tom Bradby tries to save suicidal Greek man from drowning
Journalist speaks of his shock and anger after man takes his own life as police and officials stand by
Published 17/08/2015 | 07:58
Tom Bradby, ITV's political editor, has spoken of his "shock and anger" after diving into a harbour in Greece to try to save a suicidal man from drowning as police stood by.
Writing on Twitter after the ordeal, Mr Bradby said he had "watched an elderly man commit suicide in Greece by driving his car off the harbour wall in Rafina".
The journalist said he had dived in and tried to help the man, but "couldn't get him out".
"Of the 9 or 10 customers officials and police on the quay, only 1 went in to try and get him out as the car sank. The rest watched. Jesus..." he wrote.
"Am shaking with shock and anger."
Mr Bradby, a 48-year old father of three, is understood to be on holiday in Greece with his wife and teenage children.
Rafina, about 20 miles from central Athens, is a port commonly used by tourists going to and from the Greek islands.
Mr Bradby tweeted: "So much for the Greek holiday trade being business as usual".
Mr Bradby, who is due to begin a new role as the sole presenter of ITV's News at Ten in the autumn, was hailed a "hero" for his efforts to save the man.
Many also shared their sympathy over the "horrendous" and "desperately sad" situation he had witnessed.
Studies suggest suicide rates in Greece have risen by more than a third since the country implemented a raft of tough austerity measures in 2011.
Pensions have been cut and the pension age increased as the indebted country attempts to cut its costs.
In April 2012, a 77-year-old pensioner shot himself near the Greek parliament, leaving a suicide note which said the government had “annihilated any hope" for his survival and he had been forced to "start scrounging for food from rubbish bins".
Mr Bradby, who was not available for further comment on Sunday night, has spent 25 years working with ITV News after joining as a trainee in 1990 and is already one of its most familiar faces after spending the past decade as its political editor.
Previous roles included Ireland Correspondent, Asia Correspondent – where he was injured covering riots in Jakarta - and Royal Correspondent, where he became a friend of Prince William.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge chose Mr Bradby for an exclusive interview shortly after their engagement, and invited him to their wedding as a guest.
As well as his journalistic career Mr Bradby has written a number of novels, one of which, the thriller Shadow Dancer, was made into a film.