A cyclist who fell into a canal in Gloucestershire as he cycled along the towpath spent an hour in the water before being rescued.
The rider, a 22-year-old male, had been riding his bike along the Gloucester and Sharpness Canal around a kilometre from the Pilot Inn in Hardwicke at around 11pm last Wednesday, reports the Stroud News & Journal.
He is thought to have been in the canal for approximately one hour, holding onto plants by the edge of the canal, when someone living nearby heard him shouting for help.
He was rescued by Police Sergeant Tom Francis of Gloucestershire Police, who said: “Unfortunately there weren’t many landmarks, particularly at night, which meant that finding him was particularly difficult.
“In many respects, I was lucky to take the right direction along the towpath in order to find him.
“Luckily he had been able to hold on to some plants or grass close to the edge of the canal and had not been stranded far out in the open water.
“The worst part of the rescue itself for me was having to lay in a bed of thistles and nettles in order to reach in and pull him out!”
The cyclist was treated for suspected hypothermia at Gloucestershire Royal Hospital, and Sergeant Francis said: “He was very cold when I found him and was unable really to move his arms or legs to help himself from the water.
“This is a good chance to remind people of the dangers of the water and, despite the warm weather, cold and hypothermia can still occur when submerged in the water for any length of time.
“I would like to pay tribute to my colleagues who were swift to back me up and bring equipment to warm the man and help me get him back to ambulance staff who were waiting on the nearest bridge,” he added.
Earlier this month, police appealed for witnesses after a cyclist was kicked and punched by occupants of a car after a close pass near the Pilot Inn.
A family cycling locally also spoke of how they had received verbal abuse while riding their bikes in the Hardwick area.
Simon joined road.cc as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.