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LISTEN: Cornish MP Rescues Woman From River

Stephen Gilbert
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7:56am 23rd October 2013
(Updated 7:56am 23rd October 2013)

A Cornish MP has spoken of his shock after helping rescue a woman from the River Thames near Parliament.

Stephen Gilbert was at an event on the House of Commons terrace, overlooking the river, when he saw what he thought was a body floating past.

The Liberal Democrat MP for St Austell and Newquay threw a life ring towards the woman, who was rescued a short distance further along the river, close to Westminster Pier by an RNLI crew.

Mr Gilbert said the shock had left him "barely able to string a sentence together".

At first he thought it was a mannequin or flotsam: "But then she moved. Thankfully I was able to get slightly ahead, grab a lifebuoy, throw it into the river and in probably one of the only good shots of my life, it came very close to the woman who was able to grab it.

"There are some lifebuoys on the terrace, so I guess this is not the first time something like this has happened," he said.

"I didn't expect the person to move and I didn't expect to have to react to get them a lifebuoy.

"She spent the night recovering in one of the London hospitals and, like everyone else, I'm curious to know what the back story is and how she ended up in the river.

"I'm just pleased to have been in the right place at the right time and able to do something to help."

He later tweeted: "Shaken after seeing a body float past House of Commons terrace. She moved, I threw a lifebuoy and she's now been rescued! #Result."

A spokesman for the Metropolitan Police said the woman was rescued by the RNLI and its marine policing unit.

She was taken to hospital by ambulance.

You can hear Stephen's full story here:

 

7:56am 23rd October 2013

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