Horncastle hero praised after canal rescue

Society Secretary Andrew Chapman who confirmed the award
Society Secretary Andrew Chapman who confirmed the award

A Horncastle man has been awarded a top lifesaving and bravery award after his role in a dramatic rescue.

On February 26, Alfred England was on a rowing boat from the Royal Agricultural University Boat Club on Gloucester Canal.

It was just after 7am and the cox, Henry Jackson from Wiltshire, saw a man fall into the canal.

The man began trying to clamber back on to dry land but the canal bank was too steep.

Mr Jackson manoeuvred the boat closer, but the man was in shock and could not get hold of the boat.

At this point, Mr Jackson inflated his life jacket and threw it to the man who was struggling to keep his head above the water.

Then, Mr Jackson stripped off and jumped into the bitterly cold water, got hold of the man and swam with him to the side of the canal.

A nearby canal boat owner went to help but the man was too heavy to pull up to the towpath.

At that point, Mr England, who was one of the rowers, had also jumped into the water.

He arrived and the three of them managed to get the man on to the towpath.

However, the man had stopped breathing. Mr Jackson immediately began administering cardiac pulmonary resuscitation (CPR). The man began breathing again and went on to make a full recovery from his ordeal.

Without the swift help from Mr Jackson and Mr England he would have drowned.

Now, both Mr Jackson and Mr England have been awarded Royal Humane Society Testimonials on Parchment.

Andrew Chapman, Secretary of the Society, added his praise and said: “If they had not acted as they did, the man would certainly have drowned.

“As it was, he had stopped breathing by the time they got him on to the towpath and he had to be resuscitated.

“The water was bitterly cold and they put themselves at considerable risk going into it - but they didn’t hesitate.

“Their only thought was to save the man.

“They did a superb job and as a result a life was saved.

“They richly deserve the awards they are to receive.”