A NEW Year rescue bid which saw a man jumping into the River Teviot to save a girl who plunged off the North Bridge has been praised by police.
The drama unfolded last Saturday morning when revellers standing outside The Station Bar found themselves beginning the New Year as unlikely heroes.
Almost an hour after the bells, William Wilson and Jamie Dalgleish were standing outside the pub, unaware that a 19-year-old girl had just climbed over the footbridge parapet, next to the library, and launched herself into the freezing river.
Twenty-eight year old William, a lighting engineer who now lives in Perth, told the Hawick News: “I was standing outside The Station having a cigarette next to Jamie when a couple of boys came running up and said somebody had just jumped off the bridge. We ran over onto the bridge and could see her floating down the river.” The two men then sprinted down to the water’s edge at the nearby new road bridge.
William went on: “We had a debate over who was going in and I don’t think either of us really fancied it, but I jumped in and pulled her to the side. The water was absolutely freezing, and Jamie helped get her onto the banking.”
As police took over and the girl was taken to Borders General Hospital for a check-up, still fully clothed and soaked to the skin, her rescuer returned to the pub. William said: “I was hoping to get a pair of jeans or shorts but I had to stand in my boxers. I borrowed a pair of pub co-owner Craig Lyle’s trainers that were two sizes too big, and walked home in my boxers until a taxi stopped.”
Amazingly, this was the second time William had pulled someone from the water after jumping from the bridge a couple of years ago. He quipped: “I’m scared to go out for a cigarette now when I’m in the pub!”.
He added: “My trainers and jeans are ruined, but I’m glad we could help.”
A police spokesperson said: “We would never encourage anyone to enter the water but the member of the public has to be commended for his actions which undoubtedly helped the female, and had a postive outcome on this occasion.”