Helicopter crew in dramatic river rescue

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AN ANGLER was today recovering after being rescued from a river by the South Yorkshire Police helicopter crew.

The man, aged in his 50s, fell into the River Don near Bentley Ings on Sunday while fishing with a friend, who hung on to him for about an hour before help arrived.

The secluded location of the incident, on the north bank of the river behind flood banks, made it difficult for the emergency services to locate them as darkness fell.

Initial reports gave police the impression they were on the Wheatley side of the river, but when the police helicopter arrived the crew used their thermal imaging camera to locate the men.

Observer PC Gary Thomas said: “We could see a man had waded into the water trying to get his friend out. The water was up to his chest and we’d been told he’d already been in the water for an hour.

“All the other emergency resources were on the other bank, so we took the decision to land on the bank.”

Pilot Matt Loosemore and the two observers, PCs Zoe Jobling and Thomas, left the helicopter taking a flotation device and safety ropes which they got under the man’s arms to haul him out of the water.

PC Thomas stayed with the men while the helicoper took off again to direct paramedics and South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue teams to the right place.

The man’s condition was not thought to be serious.