Sad death of hero

DESPITE the heroic actions of a young policewoman, a 40-year-old Bideford man who jumped into the River Torridge to try to save a teenager has died in hospital. It is believed that Sean Griffiths himself got into difficulties after jumping from Bideford L

DESPITE the heroic actions of a young policewoman, a 40-year-old Bideford man who jumped into the River Torridge to try to save a teenager has died in hospital.It is believed that Sean Griffiths himself got into difficulties after jumping from Bideford Long Bridge in the early hours of Thursday morning in an attempt to rescue an 18-year-old from Ilfracombe, who had jumped from the bridge.Bideford PC Jeanne Hellyer, 23, swam out into the river in a valiant effort to save Mr Griffiths and was successful in bringing him to the shore. He was taken to the North Devon District Hospital, but died there on Sunday. The teenager, Scott Mason, was rescued by an Appledore inshore lifeboat crew.The drama began at 12.45am when the alarm was raised by a man and woman who saw the men in the water. They reported the incident and made the first rescue attempts, shouting to the men and throwing a life ring from the Bideford quayside.PC Hellyer and colleague PC Andrew Warner were driving along the quayside when they were waved down by the woman."They had thrown a life ring out and were asking a man to grab it. He was looking up, but not responding to them and holding on to the wall," said PC Hellyer. "In the torchlight I then saw another man drifting in the water."After having tried everything else she decided to go into the water."It was the only option left. I am a confident swimmer and it was my choice," she said.PC Hellyer told how she swam down under the arches with the outgoing tide. She found a man face down in the water, turned him over and took him to the quayside, where fire fighters pulled him out.Colleague PC Graeme Teasdale carried out resuscitation techniques and the man was taken into an ambulance.In addition to the fire and ambulance services, a lifeboat from Appledore was also on the scene very quickly, she said. It was a good example of everyone working together.Bideford Police Inspector Shaun Kenneally said the death was an absolute tragedy. Investigations were continuing and there would be a coroner's inquiry.Mr Griffiths leaves his fiancee, Emma Trott, with whom he had a son, Carl, aged almost a year.Emma has posted a message on her Facebook website page, which reads: "Miss u babe no one will ever fill your shoes."Other tributes are being posted on a Facebook page entitled RIP Sean Griffiths Hero.n


You may also want to watch:


Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter
Comments powered by Disqus