Firefighters rescue young Wigan woman who plunged 15ft into shallow river and escaped with only cuts and bruises

A young woman was said to be “extremely lucky” not to have been seriously injured after she plunged from a Wigan bridge into just 12ins of water.

By Charles Graham
Friday, 1st July 2022, 8:37 am
Updated Friday, 1st July 2022, 8:38 am

The unnamed victim from Hindley, who is in her 20s, had fallen over the parapet and into the Douglas opposite Wigan and Leigh Magistrates’ Court while with her boyfriend at 5.26am on Friday July 1.

Trees and shrubs appear to have broken her fall as she dropped around 15ft into the river which runs under Darlington Street.

With sheer walls on either side for a long distance in either direction, the woman was unable to get out again either and so a crew from Wigan fire station was called.

The bridge opposite the courts from which the woman fell

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Crew manager Nigel Shepherd said: “I don’t know how she got in there in the first place but it’s a good 4 or 5m drop down there and very little water in the river bed.

"I shouted down to her and asked if she was injured and she said she just had cuts and bruises which is amazing considering how far she fell.

"Trees must have broken her fall. She was extremely lucky not have been far more seriously injured and really ought to buy a lottery ticket today!

"The only way of getting her out was to put one of our longer ladders down there and tie it off. We committed a couple of our crew members in water PPE to go down and get her up the ladder.

"She was very wet, quite cold and obviously in shock but physically she seemed OK.

"She wanted to go home with her boyfriend but I said that after that fall she really ought to get checked over by paramedics and so we handed her over to the North West Ambulance Service when they arrived. The police were also in attendance.”

It was the boyfriend, also in his 20s, who had called in the emergency on realising there was little he or she could do, but mistakenly said that she had fallen into the canal.

Fortunately the firefighters knew exactly where he was ringing from and went to the right location. The victim had only been in the water for 10 to 15 minutes before she was rescued.