Houseboater Honored For Rescuing A Drowning Man

May 2015 News Web Exclusive

It’s a good thing Quedgeley houseboater Martin Bunce rose to the call—literally. He undoubtedly saved a life. When a man in his 60s fell into the Gloucester to Sharpness Canal and began yelling for help, Bunce came to the rescue. He threw the man a lifebelt and held onto the would-be drowning victim for half an hour until emergency services arrived to help, reports BBC News. As he was unable to hoist the man out of the water, Bunce did the next best thing and made sure the man could keep his head above water until authorities reached the scene.

Bunce reported, "It was a spur of the moment action but being dark and with me not really knowing what had happened, it wasn't that easy to resolve the situation.” He adds, "It was also a struggle to contact police while not letting go of the victim."

Bunce was awarded a certificate of bravery by Gloucestershire Chief Constable Suzette Davenport at a special ceremony.

According to BBC News, his citation said, "His prompt reactions undoubtedly saved the male's life and ensured that he was removed from the water without suffering undue exposure." It also added that it was to his “great credit” that he heard the splash that first alerted him and then left his houseboat to check what was going on. 

Photo credited to BBC News.

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