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82-year-old man rescued after falling down bank of River Holme

He was trapped there for some hours before police and fire crews rescued him

An elderly man has been rescued after a terrifying river bank fall in Huddersfield.

The 82-year-old plunged down the “very steep” banking of the River Holme yesterday evening by Stockwell Vale in Armitage Bridge after losing his footing, and became trapped.

A huge search was mounted after his disappearance was reported at 7.25pm and the man was seen about an hour later.

He was spotted on the steep bank by the crew of the West Yorkshire Police helicopter which flew low over the area between Berry Brow and Armitage Bridge.

They found him using thermal imaging cameras and instantly alerted Kirklees Rural Neighbourhood Police officers, who raced to the scene.

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Officers managed to scramble down the banking to find the man but were unable to move him.

A spokesperson said: “Getting officers on the ground to him proved very difficult as he was on a very steep slope.

Rescuers use a boat to save the elderly man from the banks of the River Holme

“The man was OK, but very cold and tired, so getting him back to safety was going to be a problem.”

Firefighters from Rastrick fire stations’s water rescue team were then called to the scene along with the Holme Valley Mountain Rescue and an ambulance to try get him to safety.

One firefighter, Craig Littlewood, explained how they managed to get him to safety.

He said: “Myself and firefighter Dave Sykes used a rescue float to get across the river, got the man into the boat and took him back to the ambulance.

“The police, firefighters, mountain rescue and paramedics all worked really well together.”

The man was taken by ambulance to Huddersfield Royal Infirmary but a spokeswoman from the Yorkshire Ambulance Service said that he had not suffered any injuries.



Doug Thomson
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