Second river rescuer Craig Marsden praises off-duty policeman James Finch

York Press: Craig Marsden by the river Ouse at Clifton Ings Bridge. Craig Marsden by the river Ouse at Clifton Ings Bridge.

A FIREMAN who helped save a woman's life after she jumped into the River Ouse has praised his fellow rescuer.

Military firefighter Craig Marsden, who is based at Linton-on-Ouse, was cycling near Clifton Bridge when he heard people shouting and saw a woman in the river. Without thought for their own safety, he and off-duty British Transport Police officer James Finch both jumped into the river to try and save the woman.

Yesterday The Press reported PC Finch's story and told how the pair, who had not met before, helped save the woman's life. Mr Marsden came forward after his colleagues told him about the piece in the paper.

Mr Marsden, 43, said: "Anyone would have done it. You don't think.

"I went down a couple of feet and couldn't see a thing. Came back up and she just bobbed up in front of me about a yard away, so we grabbed her. We went to the side and fortunately there was a branch sticking out, we both grabbed it and tried to keep her afloat."

Mr Marsden is just recovering from a lung infection, and by his own admission is "not a strong swimmer", and felt "dizzy and light-headed" during the rescue. However, he was determined to stay with PC Finch as the woman was distressed and struggling throughout the ordeal.

He said: "You don't realise how much you're shaking, not just from the cold, but from adrenaline. When you're doing your normal job, you don't realise, you just get on with it.

"The paramedic said I sounded chesty and kept coughing, but I'm all right now. I'm still going to get a check up with my GP though, to be on the safe side. The paramedics were going to take us to hospital but I didn't want a fuss."

Mr Marsden said the fire crews, police and paramedics who helped at the scene were "all fantastic", and "absolutely on the ball", and praised PC Finch and the public who stopped to help and ensure they went into the water with the life ring.

He said: "When I looked behind me in the ambulance he'd disappeared.

"We worked together as a team, and he was brilliant. I didn't know it was in the paper until today. He praised me and I want to praise him because he worked really well."

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