Derry’s police chief turned supercop yesterday when he rescued a choking man in a city centre restaurant.
Chief Superintendent Stephen Martin was enjoying lunch at The Exchange when he noticed a diner in difficulty at the other end of the restaurant and leapt into action.
As concerned diners looked on in horror, the city’s top cop acted quickly as the man’s mother screamed for help. A doctor was on the scene and attempted to aid the diner before CS Martin performed three abdominal thrusts - also known as the Heimlich manoeuvre. CS Martin told the ‘Journal’ he was “only too delighted to help”. He added: “I could see the man was struggling to breathe and it was a natural reaction to go and help. When I went over his mother was clearly very distressed and the doctor was trying really hard to move the obstruction by slapping his back and performing the Heimlich manoeuvre, but unfortunately it was not working. I offered to try the Heimlich manoeuvre myself and luckily on my third attempt the piece of food popped out and the man was able to breathe again.”
One onlooker said: “I could see the man’s face changing to purple as he choked, I have no doubt his life was saved.” Yesterday’s incident wasn’t the first occasion Chief Superintendent Martin was a dining room hero as he had performed the life-saving manoeuvre twice before - once on his own child and also in a New York restaurant.