Urban Garden bar worker helps save 'intoxicated teenager' from Newcastle's River Tyne

Firefighters praised a bar worker who used life-saving equipment to help rescue an intoxicated teenager in the River Tyne before they arrived on the scene. Credit: Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service

A bar worker helped to save an "intoxicated" teenager after he ended up in a river.

Emergency services were called to the River Tyne, near the Millennium Bridge in Newcastle on Thursday 15 June after it was reported there was a teenager in the water.

Before firefighters arrived on the scene, a worker at nearby Urban Garden, on the Quayside, deployed a throw-line to assist the teenager, who was described as intoxicated and struggling in the water.

The throw-lines have been installed between Redheugh Bridge and The Cycle Hub at Newcastle’s Ouseburn to aid with river rescues and prevent future drownings.

The worker had been trained earlier this year so she knew how to use the equipment.

Tommy Richardson, water rescue lead for Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service (TWFRS) said: “First and foremost we are relieved this incident did not result in tragedy as we could easily have been talking about a fatality in the water.

“This was a fantastic intervention by the Urban Garden employee who put her training to the test and deployed the throw-line in really good time.

“The throwline did its job. It helped secure the man in place and gradually bring him closer to the ladder where he could self-rescue with the assistance of firefighters."

This week is the Royal Life Saving Society's Drowning Prevention Week and firefighters are urging waterside businesses to train their staff.

Mr Richardson added: "We also want to make clear that entering the water under the influence of alcohol can be very dangerous. Alcohol and drugs can seriously impair your ability to stay safe in the water.

“The River Tyne is also not an appropriate stretch of water to go for a swim and that is why we have invested so heavily in the Quayside. We are glad that investment is proving its worth.”

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