Birmingham & Black Country

Man in canal in Selly Oak saved by paramedic

Ambulance
Image caption Paramedic Dennis Loughlin found the man in about 9ft (2.7m) of water

A paramedic plunged into a canal to save a man who was floating face down in the water in Birmingham.

Dennis Loughlin spent about 40 minutes supporting the man as specialist equipment was brought in to move him safely at about 1950 BST on Wednesday.

The man, in his 30s, had suspected head and neck injuries and was eventually recovered from the scene off Bristol Road in Selly Oak.

He is now recovering at Birmingham's Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

Mr Loughlin, 32, is based at the Bristol Road ambulance station in Selly Oak.

'Too deep'

He said: "The water was pretty disgusting.

"It was too deep to stand in so my main concern was to get him turned over, which I did.

"Thankfully, he spluttered and started breathing again as soon as his mouth was clear of the water.

"He was clearly intoxicated, very confused and just wanted to go to sleep."

Because of the man's suspected injuries, he had to be placed on a specialist stretcher while still in the water before he could be moved.

Dennis said: "It really was instinctive. I knew that if I didn't go into the water, the man had no chance. Helping a patient in such circumstances is what I do - it's my job."

Incident Support Officer Dave Roberts ,from West Midlands Ambulance Service, said: "We would definitely have been looking at a fatality had it not been for his quick actions."

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