Man rescued from River Stour after Canterbury scooter fall

image copyrightGoogle
image captionThe elderly man fell from his scooter and ended up in the River Stour at Canterbury

An 89-year-old man with dementia was rescued from a river when he fell from his mobility scooter.

Alfie Sands had been travelling past the Millers Arms, in Mill Lane, Canterbury, Kent, on Friday when he fell into the River Stour.

Passers-by had to form a human chain to pull him to safety.

Ellie O'Connor and brother-in-law Alex Giles helped by calling for an ambulance and pulling Mr Sands from the water.

Ms O'Connor, 30, said she was flagged down by a woman who ran towards her in a panic.

Mr Giles, 26, held onto a tree with one arm and stretched out his other to reach Mr Sands, a former Salvation Army Officer of 50 years, who had water up to his shoulders.

image copyrightEllie O'Connor
image captionAlex Giles and sister-in-law Ellie O'Connor helped save the man from the River Stour

Ms O'Connor said: "It was a strong current so a couple of other guys held on to Alex to create a chain.

"They got him so the water was at waist level and I called for an ambulance."

'In a daze'

The ambulance arrived soon after and Mr Sands was treated by paramedics.

"They got him lying on the bank. He was in a daze," Ms O'Connor said.

"Apparently he was on a mobility scooter and was going along the path.

"The scooter was off the path on the grass and apparently it chucked him in the river."

Mr Sands's son Chris said his father was suffering from the effects of the fall into the river but he was grateful for the efforts of those who saved him.

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