Police helicopter pilots are renowned for their excellent airmanship when it comes to maneuvering their helicopters into places and positions that enable their colleagues on the ground to track down offenders and missing/vulnerable people.
The same applies to HEMs pilots who seem to be able to get their helicopters into spaces that even most drivers would have trouble parking their cars in.
However, we have never heard of a police helicopter being positioned 6ft about a river in order to prevent someone from jumping into the icy waters!
But that is exactly what happened in Northern Ireland last night.
A post shared on the PSNI Strabane facebook page said:
“Ever saw a helicopter hover 6 feet above a river? Until tonight neither had we! It sounds impressive and it certainly was an impressive sight to be part of.
“This afternoon we had concern about a male who had left an address near Clady. After a few hours trekking through muddy fields and cutting our trousers on a barbed wire fence (close call) trying to locate the male, he appeared close to the river on the road between Strabane and Clady.
“Unfortunately before we could intervene, this male then entered the water before thinking better of it and coming back out and standing on the bank again.
“At the time we had our colleagues from PSNI Air Support Unit helping us.
“They subsequently put their amazing talents to use by hovering down close to the river and making it impossible for the male to re-enter the water.
“It’s important to note that these guys and girls would only ever fly so low when they have considered every other option, and it goes without saying that they always consider every possible risk to the public and livestock.
“They did this manoeuvre to save a life…and today they did just that.
“We are certainly very thankful for their assistance and expertise because from experience there are very few things colder than a river in County Tyrone in November (except maybe the same river in December)
“With their impressive help we were able to complete the rescue, muddy trousers, cut hands and all…to get this male to safety and to the relevant people who can offer him help.
“All that’s left for us to do now is to work out how to use the washing machine before our partners sees the mess of these trousers.
“Thank you PSNI Air Support Unit for your help today…..impressive skill!!!”
If you want to follow PSNI Strabane’s Facebook page, then click here —>
— Emergency_Services_Humour (@ES_Humour) November 22, 2018
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