Advertisement

  1. ITV Report

'We tried desperately to save him', police officer describes attempt to save man at Caernarfon Castle

A police officer has described how she "desperately" tried to save a man's life at Caernarfon Castle on Remembrance Sunday.

Sergeant Non Edwards was one of the officers who gave CPR to an Australian tourist who collapsed during the service.

The man collapsed at around 11:45am on Sunday 10 November and although he received medical attention, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Sgt Edwards administered CPR along with the Chief Constable of North Wales Police, Carl Foulkes. She said she will never forget the moment she was alerted to a man in need of help.

At 11.45am, a gentleman ran towards me in a terrible state begging me for help. I will never forget his words: 'There’s a man in there dying in the tower'.

– Sgt Non Edwards, North Wales Police
The alarm was raised at about 11:45am that a man had collapsed.

She immediately ran to help and was joined by the force's Chief Constable. When they both reached the tower they found the man collapsed and his wife, who was visibly distressed. Sgt Edwards said:

"I ripped my belt, body armour and coat off and flung them somewhere. I got to my knees and began carrying out CPR. Next to me, the chief was on his knees helping me. We tried desperately to save him. Then, the paramedics arrived.

"Doctors, paramedics, the air ambulance – I stood back and looked on in awe of this wonderful calm team worked in unison to save this man’s life. They also tried….for some time. Sadly, he had passed."

Sgt Edwards said she then comforted the man's wife who thanked her for trying to save her husband.

I too cried. We are not robots. We too are human and, despite my 19 years of having dealt with death on so many occasions in the past, today it got to me. I tried to save him, but I failed, and she thanked me.

– Sgt Non Edwards, North Wales Police
An air ambulance arrived along with paramedics but sadly the man was pronounced dead at the scene. Credit: ITV Cymru Wales

After the incident, Sgt Edwards went to visit the man's widow to find out more about the man she had tried to save. His wife shared pictures of her late husband with Sgt Edwards and spoke about how he would have laughed at the fact he died in such "wonderful surroundings".

After leaving his wife, Sgt Edwards returned to the station before going home to her children. She said:

"My wonderful colleagues hugged me and told me to go home to my kids. I went home, put the key in the door and so my second shift started, 'Mam what’s for tea?'.

"I hugged my children. They didn’t know why, just that I needed one."

Sgt Edwards thanked the Chief Constable and the rest of her team for how they worked together on the day:

"My young team were then pushed to their limits in clearing the nearby streets and cutting off traffic, so that we could convey the gentleman out of the castle with dignity.

"These were young Special Constables and Cadets who had to deal with a real life emergency and did so with grace and professionalism, for which I am so proud.

"To them, the Chief Constable, my fellow colleagues in the emergency services – I thank you."

We always remember the 11th November. Somehow, I will always remember the 10th.

– Sgt Non Edwards, North Wales Police