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Jogger saves suicidal man from drowning

Date
11/04/2011
What Happened
Person tired/overwhelmed by water
What Caused
Human factor
Casualty type/Qty
Casualty
Gender
Male
Causal Factors
Suicide suspected
Injury Details
Drowning
Outcome
Near miss
Alcohol/Drugs
N/A

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Description of Incident
A selfless stockbroker has spoken of how he leapt into the River Thames at Hammersmith to stop a suicidal man from drowning.

Heroic Tom Wilson, from Munster Road, Fulham, was jogging along the Thames Path near the River Café when the man, thought to be in his fifties, put down his walking stick and rucksack, clambered over the railings and jumped into the water.

"He started trying to swallow as much water as he could, as fast as he could, and his head then went below the surface," said Tom, 32.

"He was drowning. I couldn't just watch him die in front of my eyes. I had to do something – so I jumped in."

His action's saved the man's life. Although Tom found him without a pulse, paramedics were able to revive him and he is now recovering in Charing Cross Hospital.

Recalling the April 11 incident, Tom says at first he wasn't sure if the man was serious.

"He had swum into the middle of the river and then back towards me again. I asked him what he was doing and he said he was going to drown himself, but I wasn't sure he meant it.

"But then he disappeared below the surface and I started thinking, 'I might have to get in there'."

As the situation became critical, a female jogger came past and then, by coincidence, Tom's friend.

"Luckily she had a phone and called the police, while I gave my belongings to my friend.

"By now he had been in the water for two or three minutes and his body started bobbing up and down. That's when I jumped."

As Tom was dragging the man's lifeless body from beneath the water surface, his friend ran and fetched a life buoy from further down the path.

"I grabbed on to the buoy and rested the guy's head on my shoulder. He looked grey and I couldn't find a pulse."

After about five minutes, the lifeboat arrived and the pair were taken to Chiswick, where paramedics continued to help save save the man's life, before taking him to Charing Cross.

Tom was given a clean pair of clothes and taken home. He later had injections to stave of the threat of infection from the river.

Despite his actions, Tom is a reluctant hero. "I was fortunate that my friend was there. I don't really know what I thought, I just knew I had to act.

"I would be lying if I said I wasn't apprehensive about doing it. I had no idea what was down there and didn't know what the current was going to be like.

"But I had engaged with this person and couldn't let him die.

"It's fair to say nothing like this has ever happened before and I hope nothing like it ever happens again.

"But hopefully people can see that not all stockbrokers are bad."
Supporting Information
http://www.fulhamchronicle.co.uk/fulham-and-hammersmith-news/2011/04/15/hero-jogger-saves-suicidal-drowning-man-from-thames-82029-28526608/

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