Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service
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Incident Date: 07 April 2015
A MAN has narrowly escaped with his life after falling 25 metres down a steep embankment and into the River Irwell in Radcliffe.
Crew from Bolton Central, Farnworth and a specialist Water Incident Unit from Eccles were called to Seddon Lane at 12.48pm today, April 7, 2015.
When firefighters arrived at the scene they found a 56-year-old man trapped at the bottom of the embankment and struggling to stay above the water.
Firefighters used rescue lines, buoyancy aids and specialist water rescue equipment to rescue the man from the riverbank.
The crew worked closely with a North West Ambulance Service Hazardous Area Response Team to keep the man comfortable while they extricated him from the river.
Station Manager Phil Nelson, who was in charge of the incident, said: “The man had been out for a walk and has slipped down a very steep river bank.
“The crew did a fantastic job to locate him quickly and stabilise him. He was very lucky to survive - if he had fallen a bit further he would have drowned in the river.
“The man has sustained serious injuries and was taken to hospital by air ambulance – the helicopter crew did an amazing job to get so close to the incident.
“Now the weather is getting warmer and people are spending more time outside I would urge them to take care near water especially steep river banks. This man has narrowly escaped with his life, but the next person who falls down a steep river bank might not be so lucky.”