Concerns after bridge drama

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A Derry politician has called for increased safety measures on Derry’s Peace Bridge to prevent people climbing over railings.

Gregory Campbell, of the DUP, spoke out after witnessing a man fall from the bridge at the weekend.

It was at around 8 p.m. on Saturday night that Mr. Campbell witnessed the incident, which he described as “quite distressing”.

He told the ‘Journal’: “I was walking on the bridge in the vicinity of the seated area nearest to the cityside when I noticed that someone had managed to manoeuvre themselves over the railings and behind the glass partition. This person appeared to be in a somewhat agitated state and, at this stage, another member of the public decided to phone the police. He asked me to talk to the police and I agreed and explained the situation to them. They told me that, as well as dispatching their own personnel to the scene, they would be alerting Foyle Search and Rescue.

“Just as I hung up, the man fell, landing on the edge of one of the concrete bases of the bridge. Part of his body was in the river. Because the river was flowing quite fast, the current began to pull him in. This was the most distressing part of the entire episode as there was nothing we could do but wait for the arrival of the rescue teams.

“Within minutes, both the police and the river rescue teams had arrived on the scene and, thankfully, managed to get the man out of the river and into the boat. Both the police and the Foyle rescue teams are to be commended for their quick actions.”

Mr. Campbell says the incident underscores the need for increased safety measures on the bridge.

“Perhaps, something could be easily put in place at both seated areas to prevent people from making their way around the glass panels,” he said.