Praise for constable in river rescue

Special constable Jon Sayer, right, at the River Calder, Key Sike Lane, Todmorden. with  Chief Superintendent Chris Hardern
Special constable Jon Sayer, right, at the River Calder, Key Sike Lane, Todmorden. with Chief Superintendent Chris Hardern

A HEROIC Special Constable used his lifeguard skills to rescue a man from the River Calder.

Jon Sayer jumped into the river at Key Sike Lane, Todmorden, shortly after midnight on Saturday when he saw a man in the water.

He saved the man’s life by climbing down the wall, negotiating the swollen river and dragging him to the riverbank where colleagues were able to assist.

Special Constable Sayer said: “I heard a splash and instantly knew it was someone jumping in.

“I looked over and saw his head bobbing up and down in the water.

“I dipped my foot in the water to see how deep it was and I couldn’t touch the bottom.

“I took my stab vest off and thought I’m going to have to jump in and pull him out.

“I got hold of him and extended my arm under his chin and pulled him across the river.

“My colleagues PC Tony Hanson and PC Jonathan Rawcliffe were waiting on the bank to help drag him out of the water.

“I believe that any officer who had been in my position at that time would have done the same thing.

“It was all in a day’s work.”

Special Constable Sayer, 33, is a self-employed plumber and a scout leader.

He did his lifeguard training at Todmorden Sports Centre before going to work in France for two summers.

An 18-year-old member of the public also got into the water to help rescue the man, who suffered a head injury and is receiving hospital treatment.

Divisional Commander Chief Superintendent Chris Hardern praised Special Constable Sayer and the teenage passer-by for their actions.

He said: “Without a second thought for their own safety, these two men put their own lives at risk to help save the life of another.

“Thanks to their timely response, the man was rescued and is now receiving treatment.”

He added: “Special Constables bring with them a variety of skills and experience when they dedicate their own time to help police support communities and make Calderdale a safer place to live and work.”

Upper Valley Inspector Dave Browning appealed for members of the public to get involved in local policing by becoming Special Constables.

For more information about becoming a Special Constable, contact Sergeant Julian Hartley on 01422 337238 or visit www.westyorkshire.police.uk.