‘If we had not seen him, who knows what would have happened’ - Norwich City fans rescue man from River Wensum
15:05 01 September 2014
A Norwich City fan last night spoke of the dramatic moment he and other Canaries fans helped rescue an injured man found in the river before their team’s kick-off on Saturday.
Sean Lynn, of Fakenham, was joined by a group of other fans to pull the man from the River Wensum at around 1.45pm, near the Lady Julian Bridge in Norwich.
The 50-year-old ran across the bridge to come to the aid of the injured man, who was clinging on to a tree slump in cold stagnant water, and with the help of others hauled him on the safety of the riverbank, near King Street.
The incident was the second river rescue in Norwich on Saturday.
The businessman and an off duty nurse, who was also on her way to Norwich’s game against Bournemouth, tried to keep the man warm before medics arrived to take him to hospital.
Mr Lynn, who runs an agricultural engineering business, said it was a mystery how the man in his 30s, believed to be from the London area, had ended up in the river.
The Norwich fan said he and his wife Tracey had got to the city early ahead of the 3pm kick-off and were sitting on a bench on the Riverside side of the Wensum when they saw something moving in the water on the other side of the river bank.
“I got up and looked and saw the guy grappling to get hold of something and I ran across the bridge. We had sat there for 20 minutes and we had not heard a splash and it was a mystery as to what he was doing there.
“He was in a real bad way and he was trying to find something to cling on to and he seemed to be caught on a bit of tree stump.”
“I laid flat on my stomach and got him to hold my hand and another chap came along and got on his stomach. More people turned up and we were able to pull him out,” he said.
Mr Lynn said he was helped by a nurse and her three friends, another man who helped pull the injured man out, a programme seller who called 999 and another fan ran to Carrow Road to try and get medical help.
He said the injured man was cold and complaining of back pain. He was placed in the recovery position and they kept talking to him to stop him going unconscious.
“If we had not seen him, who knows what would have happened. It is bizarre and I do not know what he was up to. It was a bit of a traumatic Saturday, but I got to the game on time,” he said.
Dr Audun Langhelle and critical care paramedic Andy Downes from the East Anglian Air Ambulance were called to the incident on Saturday afternoon. They drove from the air ambulance’s Norwich Airport base in a rapid response vehicle and arrived on scene at just before 2pm. They treated the patient at the scene before he was taken to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital by an East of England Ambulance Service Trust ambulance.
A spokesman for EEAST said the man was taken to hospital with back pain for further assessment.
The incident comes after a man who fell into the river in Norwich in the early hours of Saturday morning was rescued by fire crews.
Appliances from Carrow, Sprowston and Wroxham attended to help the man who had fallen into the river in Riverside Road, between Prince of Wales Road and Gas Hill, at about 3.50am on Saturday.
A Norfolk police spokesman said they were called to assist ambulance and fire crews.
A spokesman for the ambulance service said a man in his 30s was assessed and comforted by ambulance crews at the scene. He was later left in the care of his family.