Rescuers rushed to the aid of a woman who fell into the river at Bideford in the early hours of Sunday, October 27.
Police were called to reports of screaming at the riverside at around 12.45am, at the bottom of the steps on Bideford Quay.
Sergeant Dave Thubron said the woman was in water and thick mud and seemed to be in a state of hypothermia and was shivering uncontrollably, so the situation was time critical.
He said he had been on the verge of calling the coastguard for their assistance when some Bideford Street Pastors arrived bearing a roadworks sign that was pressed into use as a stretcher.
Sgt Thubron said: "It worked really well, we carried the person up to the top of the steps to the ambulance.
"It was quick thinking by the Street Pastors. They were the key to the whole thing, they were really good and they put themselves into danger as well."
The woman in her 20s was taken to hospital.
It is understood others on scene also assisted with the rescue and the Gazette has tried to get in touch with them.
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