A HEROIC act has resulted in five police officers from Oswestry and a Canadian visitor being awarded top national honours after battling to save a 71-year-old boat enthusiast who fell into the canal at Ellesmere last year.

PCs Benjamin Francis, Kate Le’Clere, Kimberley Morris and PCSOs Kerry Hogg and Tracey Walker, have all been awarded Royal Humane Society Resuscitation Certificates for their fight using cardiac pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) to bring the man back from the brink of death after he stopped breathing.

Sadly, the man died in hospital six days after the incident, but the officers’ response to the incident helped to save his life at the scene, along with the help of Canadian Doug Yelland.

Doug was first to arrive at the scene and led the struggle to pull the drowning man from the water, and has now been awarded a Certificate of Commendation by the Society.

Doug arrived but could not lift the injured man out of the water on his own. Then the two unnamed men arrived and between them they pulled him from the water and on to the towpath.

PCSOs Hogg and Walker were the first police to arrive at which point the man stopped breathing and PCSO Hogg began administering CPR.

The other officers then arrived and while PCSO Hogg ran to a nearby store to fetch a defibrillator they took it in turns to administer CPR for around 30 minutes before paramedics reached the scene.

Ultimately after receiving shocks from the defibrillator the man began breathing again but died in a hospice six days later.

In addition to the awards they are to receive the award winners have also won the praise of Andrew Chapman, Secretary of the royal humane society.

“This was a horrific incident,” said Andrew. “No-one knows what caused the man to fall in the canal. He had been out for a stroll and to pick up the fish and chips and wine for supper and then this happened. It was an appallingly tragic end for this couple’s canal cruise.

“Everybody involved did a magnificent job, firstly in pulling the man from the water and then the police in managing to resuscitate him,” he added.

“Sadly he died six days later but at least there was time for his family to gather round him and say their last farewells.

“All the awards winners did their very best to save him though and they richly deserve the awards they are to receive.”