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Home shopping drivers Jack and Stuart from Asda Bridgwater rescue man from river

March 10, 2023 11:36am
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Everyone at our Bridgwater store is so proud of home shopping drivers Jack Rossiter and Stuart Phippen who helped rescue a man who'd fallen into the River Parrett.

They were loading their vans when they heard cries for help coming from the river, so ran straight there, where they found the man stuck in the mud and unable to get out.

Twenty-five-year-old Jack, a former Royal Navy medic, ran to get a lifebuoy while Stuart called the fire service.

Jack, who's worked at the store since April last year, said: "We'd just got into work. It was about 7am and we were loading up when we both heard screaming and cries for help. We looked at each other and thought it didn't sound right.

"The shouting seemed to be coming from the river so we went to look and saw a man stuck in the mud about 500 metres away. A few other people had heard the cries and were there and one was on the phone to the police.

"I knew where there was a lifebuoy so I ran round to get it and Stuart phoned the fire brigade as they are literally two minutes away.

"We lowered the buoy down to the man, who was in his mid to late 20s, and pulled him out of the mud and got him to the side underneath the wall. I then securely tied the buoy to a bollard. We didn't have the strength to pull him all the way up the wall."

Firefighters were quickly on the scene and managed to lower a ladder down to the man and then Jack and Stuart returned to their vans and got on with their deliveries.

Jack said: "When I was in the Royal Navy I worked as a medic on the Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier and took part in search and rescue, so my training just kicked in.

"It's human nature to help people. I'll always help people in trouble when I can. I don't think the man had been in the water very long, thankfully. He said he'd slipped trying to take a photo. The river is tidal and on that day it was going out, but the next day at the exact same time the water would have covered him and it could have been a different story."

Stuart, who's 42 and been at the store for eight years, said: "It was just instinct really to help. Just one of those things. I called the fire brigade then ran to the road to flag them down when I heard them.

"Jack and I were both very calm about it. Jack is ex Navy and I worked for ten years on security at a holiday camp so am used to dealing with medical emergencies."

The store's community champion Jo Thexton said everyone at the store was so proud of them.

She said: "The man is lucky to be alive. To actually be able to help someone and reassure them was amazing.

"If the tide had turned and the river had come in the man would have drowned as he was literally stuck in the mud."

The colleagues have now been nominated for Asda service superstar awards for their heroics.

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