A group of workmen who saved a cat from drowning in a Wigan canal have been branded heroes.
On Saturday morning, a video emerged of a man braving icy cold waters to rescue the moggy from the canal behind Westwood Park.
Stu Smith, 37, was working nearby at the time when the drama unfolded and immediately launched a rescue mission to save the animal which had been cruelly thrown to certain death.
Luckily the workers were alerted in time to save the pet and thanks to the efforts of the men the 15-year-old domestic cat was reunited with its elderly owner in Ince.
“The cleaners who were outside came and got me,” he said.
“They told me it had been thrown in. There was a cardboard box by the side. I went out and was trying to float a buoy towards it.
“It was on its back drowning and crying. It was about 20 feet away and I wasn’t able to get the buoy to it. It kept going under, it was such a shame.”
Stu, from Aspull, had just clocked on at work for the day. Another employee, Phil Dawson from Manchester, was leaving after his 12-hour shift as the drama unfolded and immediately went over to see what was going on.
“Obviously he wanted to know what we were all doing,” added Stu.
“He said he was going in so I got the life buoy round him. It took him a minute or so to get over to it because it kept floating away.
“When he had it I pulled him back in.”
The footage, taken by one of the cleaners, shows the cat visibly distressed as it is pulled from the water and laid on dry land. Stu can then be seen wrapping the tabby in a high vis jacket and rubbing it to keep warm.
“There was a piece of rusted wire attached to it,” he said. “I had to get that off quickly.
“As Phil was leaving work he took it straight to the vets. It is back with its owner now. I’m just glad it is alright.”
After the video went viral, people have contacted the men to congratulate them on their efforts.
Cats Protection Society Atherton and Wigan also commented on the group’s heroic actions, saying: “These lovely people rescued this poor cat which was in the canal.
“Some evil person riding past was seen to throw the cat in a box into the water.
“The wonderful man who jumped in to save the cat had just finished a shift at work and others were on their way to work. The cat was taken to a vets and recovered well and returned home.
“It is so heartwarming to know there are such good people out there. They deserve a medal.”
This is not the only touching rescue story which has come to light this week.
Emergency services sprang into action on Sunday afternoon to save a dog which had run across thin ice on a canal behind the DW stadium.
Firefighters and police were called the scene off Loire Drive at around 4.40pm after the pet dog ran across the frozen water and got trapped.
Wigan and Hindley crews helped to save the Husky by deploying a dingy and the dog is now home safe and well.
A GMP spokesperson said that the animal made it to the opposite bank of the canal before being rescued.
A post shared on social media by the owner said: ”Thank God for emergency services.”