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Passers-by restrain bridge jumper with bungee cords

12:35 03 July 2012

Archant

Police want to thank members of the public who stopped and potentially saved the man’s life.

MEMBERS of the public managed to restrain a man with bungee cords after he tried to jump off of the New Bridge in Barnstaple yesterday (Mon).

The man, who was described as being ‘very agitated’ by police, was spotted by a number of passers-by on the wrong side of the railings.

Five or six people stopped to offer him help, including a psychologist who was able to use her skills to talk to the man.

At one point, they became so fearful that the man, who had his leg in plaster, was going to jump they had to use a bungee cord to hold him back and eventually pulled him over the railings to safety.

The police arrived and took the man to a place of safety where he was assessed and offered the support necessary.

Officers were not able to take down the names of everybody that helped but wanted to offer their thanks for their kindness and courage in intervening in what was a dangerous, volatile and distressing situation.

Inspector Roger Bartlett from Barnstaple Police said: ‘We hear too many stories of how people have not stopped to help.

“It is really important that we recognise the good nature of those who go out of their way and place themselves at risk to help others.

“This incident occurred near the highest point of the bridge and had the man jumped or fallen, it is very likely that he could have lost his life.

“Had it not been for the intervention of members of the public, this incident could well have ended in tragedy.

“I would like to say thank you to those who stopped to offer help. They should all be very proud of their actions.”

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