Derry man praises FS&R after second emergency incident

The Foyle Bridge, Derry.
The Foyle Bridge, Derry.
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A Derry man who has twice raised the alarm over people in distress at the Foyle Bridge railings has praised the rapid response of Foyle Search & Rescue.

Gabriel Campbell put in an emergency call on Tuesday afternoon after spotting the man over the railings as he drove across the bridge.

Foyle Search volunteers patrolling the river.

Foyle Search volunteers patrolling the river.

Mr Campbell had also raised the alarm back in January 2014 when, while returning from night shift at work, he noticed a man on the railings at 3.30am.

In both incidents, the men were successfully rescued from the bridge.

Speaking about Tuesday’s episode, Mr Campbell, who lives in the Waterside, said: “I was with my daughter and we were heading over the bridge around 4.25pm. We came across from the Waterside to the cityside and the young man was going over the railings on the opposite side. There was a pile of traffic stopped.”

Mr Campbell pulled into the layby at the end of the bridge and immediately contacted FSR, who were on the scene within minutes, along with the Ambulance Service and PSNI.

FSR Land crew communicated with the man and successfully brought him to safety, transferring him to the Ambulance. He was then transferred to hospital.

Mr Campbell said he was shocked that he had witnessed a second person on the bridge, following the earlier incident in January 2014.

“At that time I have to say it was a bit of a panic. I saw a young man climb over the railings. I made a call to the emergency services and by the time I got there and started shouting to him there was a guy from FSR on the bridge, who had been in a car going home.

“I was chatting to the man for a few minutes. We had to grab him and pull him over. The shock only really hit my when I got home that time. I was physically shaken.
“On the bridge the Foyle Search and Rescue member asked was I OK. They did that yesterday too when they called back to ask was I OK and did I require any help for what I’d seen.

“They look after those that have been involved in both sides.

“I never thought I would have to do it again, twice in two years.”

“It is brilliant that they are there.

In a separate incident on Wednesday morning, Foyle Search & Rescues Emergency Response Team were activated at 7.40am by the PSNI following reports of a person having entered the River.

Two boats and a land crew were dispatched and on arrival a man was found in the water.

He was taken to the FSR Base at Prehen, and was transferred from there to Accident & Emergency by Ambulance.

Anyone who witnesses an emergency incident is urged to ring 999 or if anyone feels they are in distress and want assistance they should ring the non-emergency number 101.