A Wigan man has been branded a hero after jumping into a canal to save a drowning woman.
Mitchell Turner jumped into the chilly waters of the Leeds-Liverpool Canal after spotting a woman, believed to be in her sixties, “bobbing up and down” and struggling to stay afloat.
The 29-year-old was on an evening run near the DW Stadium on August 27 when he heard her cries for help coming from the water. Being the only person in the area, Mitchell did not hesitate to plunge into the canal and pull the woman to safety. How she came to enter the water has not been confirmed.
Mitchell, a bare knuckle fighter who lives in Wigan town centre, said: “I have a fight coming up in November, so I was just training, going for a run. I was coming up past the DW, and heard someone shouting, ‘help, help!’ and I saw a woman flapping about in the water. I jumped in, pulled her out and called an ambulance.”
He added: “It was late at night and nobody else was around. I waited with her for about half an hour. There was nobody else there, so nobody else would have seen her, it was lucky I was running past!”
He added: “She had a big jumper on, which I took off her because it was drenched in cold water. I was just trying to calm her down.”
Paramedics arrived shortly afterwards to help the woman and take her to hospital, which was the last Mitchell heard of her condition.
“I gave my number to the ambulance driver, who said she would be getting the help she needs.
“They said ‘thank you’” Mitchell said.
“It was just lucky I was there. If I hadn’t been running past, it might have been a different story.”
Mitchell’s heroism came to light when mum Marie shared the story in a social media post, expressing her pride in his actions.
“It was a very brave thing to do as anything could have happened,” she said.
“Thank god they are both ok and well done to him.”
The post attracted hundreds of comments praising Mitchell’s actions.
Frank Welsh wrote: “This is the height of caring for others and more of this is needed in our communities as there are lots of vulnerable people out there of all ages.”
“That is such a lovely thing to do, well done” said Pauline Berry.