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Two people saved from River Avon in Chippenham
Two people were pulled out of the River Avon in Chippenham last night and treated for hypothermia.
Firefighters, who pulled the pair from the freezing water, believe a man and a woman in her 40s were walking from the town centre towards the Blue Bridge at about 9pm when the woman slipped and fell into the water.
Because of the muddy and steep embankment, she was unable to climb back to land.
The man called 999 and then jumped into the water to try and help.
Firefighters from Chippenham and Corsham were called to the scene by South Western Ambulance Service at 9.04pm but, because the location given by the casualties was wrong, a full search of the river had to be undertaken by fire crews using a thermal imaging camera, ambulance personnel and Wiltshire Police.
The pair were evntually found clinging to the river bank close to the pitch and putt course.
A specialist water rescue team, part of the fire service in Chippenham, went into the river and helped bring the two people to safety.
Station Manager Darren Nixon said: “We think the two people were in the water for 20 to 25 minutes, and they were extremely lucky that they were found when they were.
"All three emergency services worked together very well to locate the casualties, and police officers and a couple of firefighters held onto the pair until the specialist water rescue crew could enter the water and bring them to safety.”
He added: “This path is unlit and not properly surfaced, so we would urge people to think twice about using it at night.
"We would also remind people that, if you see someone fall into the river, don’t try and carry out a rescue yourself unless you know it’s safe to do so and you’re not putting yourself at risk. You should always call 999, as the emergency services have the equipment and training to stay safe.”
One of the people was treated for hypothermia at the Great Western Hospital in Swindon and the other was taken to the Royal United Hospital in Bath.