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Heroes in Taunton canal rescue drama
MODEST heroes working on a building site saved the life of a man in a wheelchair who had fallen into a canal.
Aaron Lawton and Carl Reed shot down three flights of stairs and dived into the water without a second thought.
They then held the elderly man’s head above water until firefighters arrived to pull him to safety.
Aaron, who was working on a block of flats being built at Firepool Lock, Taunton, said: “We just ran down and automatically jumped in without thinking about it.
“Anyone else would have done the same. I don't feel like a hero.
“Who knows what would have happened if we hadn't gone in.
“There were two people at the side of the canal ringing 999 but we had to go in otherwise he might have drowned.”
Carl said: “I just did it - it's one of those things.
“It was lucky it was a weekday and we were there - if it had been a quiet Sunday nobody would have seen or heard him in the water.
“Some of my mates are calling me a hero, but I don't like to blow my own trumpet.”
They leapt into action after their colleague Brian Tong spotted the man fall 15 feet into the Bridgwater to Taunton Canal and heard him shouting for help.
He said: “He was caught in the reeds and had gone in head first.
“We were working four storeys up, but Aaron went down and waded across to the man along with Carl.
“He was heavy and strapped in and there was no way they could get him out, so they just kept his head above water.”
Emergency services arrived on the scene and firefighters used a ladder and a pulley to get the man, who is from Weston, to safety before taking him to hospital for a check up.
“He'd been in the water for about 15 minutes and was shivering, so we got him some fleeces to warm him up,” added Brian.
“He was very grateful and Carl and Aaron were brave to do what they did.”