TWO friends out on a spontaneous boating trip were forced to perform life-saving heroics after a man fell off a Newport bridge.
Daniel Seymour, from Amelia Way in Newport, and 36-year-old Wayne Beirne, from the Baneswell area in the city, decided to go on a short trip along the River Usk on Sunday evening when they saw a man walking along the George Street Bridge.
Mr Seymour, 31, said the man appeared to have thrown a can into the river before falling a few seconds later. Boating enthusiasts Mr Seymour, a road worker, and delivery driver Mr Beirne, were able to get to the man within “10 or 15 seconds” and managed to turn the man, who had been lying face down in the water for several seconds, onto his back and drag him into their inflatable rib sport boat.
They managed to do so while they phoned the emergency services, but had to hang up to haul the man, aged 43, into their boat.
Gwent Police said the man was later taken to the Royal Gwent Hospital by ambulance but his condition is not believed to be serious.
Mr Seymour said: “We were out on the boat on the river when we saw this bloke walking across the bridge before stopping. Then he chucked his can of cider over."
After the saw the man fall, Mr Seymour said: "He was just floating on top of the water – we thought he was dead.
“We were onto him within 10 or 15 seconds.
“It was crazy – we were just out there and then this happened. We had to drag him into the boat. We managed to get him breathing again and phone the ambulance.
“The ambulance and police were all down there within minutes – it was absolutely crazy. It all happened so fast.”
Duty inspector Paul Jackson, of Gwent Police, said: “Police were called to an incident at 7.10pm.
“Two members of the public were nearby in a boat and they have gone to his rescue. They held on to him and managed to pull him out of the water.”
A spokeswoman for Gwent Police added the force will be “officially recognising the men for their efforts” in due course.