Woman pulled from River Tyne at Newcastle Quayside after entering water

Firefighters from Byker Community Fire Station piloted the fire boat to bring a woman to safety in the early hours of Saturday 22 April. Credit: Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service

A woman was pulled from a river with life-saving throw bags just days after the £10,000 equipment was installed.

Emergency services were called to Newcastle's Quayside after a woman entered the River Tyne in the early hours of Saturday 22 April.

Northumbria Police were the first officers on scene at about 1:15am and were able to use throw-bag boards, which have recently been installed along the Quayside, to secure the woman in place in the water.

Shortly after, firefighters from Byker Community Fire Station, piloting the fire boat arrived and were able to bring her to safety.

The woman, who did not suffer life-threatening injuries, was taken to hospital by paramedics from the North East Ambulance Service (NEAS).

Steve Thomas, group manager for Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service (TWFRS), said: “Thanks to the swift actions of police, paramedics and firefighters, a woman was brought to safety and did not suffer any life-threatening injuries. I want to say a huge well done to everyone involved.

“It is excellent to see that this equipment is already saving lives but this is no surprise to us, we carry throw-bags on every fire engine and know how effective they can be.

“We know that life rings previously installed on the Quayside were hard to secure and were often damaged or stolen, meaning they weren’t available to be used in an emergency.

“But these throw-bag boards mean the equipment will always be available in a time of need, as they were during the incident at the weekend."

TWFRS and Newcastle City Council have installed 14 of the throw-bag boards on the Quayside, between the Redheugh Bridge and The Cycle Hub at Newcastle’s Ouseburn, as part of a £10,000 investment to replace life rings along the River Tyne.

In the event of someone entering the water, a member of the public, or a first responder, would locate the board, call 999, ask for the fire and rescue service and use a code provided to gain access to a throw-bag.

Police Constable Peter Wilson, of Northumbria Police’s Maritime Policing Unit, said: “We are pleased that the woman was successfully brought to safety and wish her well throughout her recovery.

“This was a fast-moving incident that showed how blue-light partners and other organisations can work effectively together to help those who come into trouble in the water.

“The instalment of these new throw-bag boards along the banks of the River Tyne is something we welcome, and can only further help us to keep our communities safe and ultimately save lives.”

The National Fire Chiefs Council is running a Be Water Aware safety campaign between 24 April and 30 April.

A free water safety event takes place at Newcastle Quayside Market on Sunday 30 April between 11am and 3pm.

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