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Saturday, 20 September 2014

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Cumbrian bridge plunge boy rescued unconscious from river

A 15-year-old boy was rescued from a river after he fell off a bridge and was knocked unconscious.

White Bridge photo
Connar Johnson, Sophie Forster and, left, Amy Johnson play in the River Caldew at Dalston, while being supervised by their parents. They were keeping well away from the White Bridge

The teenager was taken to the Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle after suffering head, back and rib injuries after falling from White Bridge in Dalston.

It has now prompted warnings about the dangers of cooling off by bridges and rivers during the current heatwave.

The News & Star understands the boy, a year 10 student at Caldew School in Dalston, hit his head before falling into the river below where he was spotted by passers-by face first in the water and unconscious.

A man who lives near the scene raced to the river and jumped in to drag him out.

He then put him down on a bench and elevated his knees because he was in shock in order to get the blood to flow back to his organs.

The rescuer then kept talking to the boy and reassuring him before another passer by, who turned out to be a surgical nurse, took over until the ambulance arrived.

The boy is now believed to have returned to his home in Carlisle where he is recovering from his injuries.

North West Ambulance Service confirmed the incident, which happened shortly before 3pm on Saturday, was accidental.

Caldew School confirmed pupils have been warned about the dangers posed by bridges and rivers as groups of young people are often seen congregating by White Bridge and jumping off.

Headteacher Chris McAree, said: “We have highlighted the dangers of jumping from bridges, banks and waterways during the hot spell of weather in our form time and assemblies and emphasised that the water levels are dropping rapidly which increases the danger.

“We want all our students to keep safe over the summer.”

John Kelsey, a Dalston parish councillor, said many youngsters regularly go swimming in the bay about 400 yards further up from the bridge.

He warned: “It’s dangerous – there isn’t a lot of water in the river so the message is just don’t do it. And when the river is full it runs very quickly and the current is strong so it it’s not a good idea at any time.”

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