Danny Kesler, who works as a security guard at Asda House in Leeds, was on duty on in the early hours of Sunday morning when he noticed a man walking alongside the River Aire, near the rear of the building on Great Wilson Street.
He witnessed him fall into the river and immediately ran from the security CCTV desk to the river side. Using a length of cable he had managed to find, he threw this down to the man, shouting to him to grab on. The man gripped this cable along with the side wall at the banking of the river, with the casualty hanging on by his fingertips in the freezing water waiting for rescue as Danny called the fire service.
Crews from West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service were quickly on scene and were able to locate the man due to Danny’s due diligence and got him to safety. Watch Manager Lee Burrows said: “Danny showed crews the location of the casualty as soon as we arrived. He was semi hidden, out of sight so locating him would have been delayed without Danny’s help in the darkness.
“Fire crews secured the casualty and brought him onto the bankside to await the ambulance. The man was conscious and breathing throughout but very cold and borderline hypothermic. When paramedics arrived, they checked him over but were struggling to take a temperature due to low body heat, and he was taken to hospital.
“I firmly believe that Danny played a huge part in saving the life of this man, and things could have been very different if he hadn’t seen him fall in as there was no-one else around at this time of the morning to witness the fall. This could well have been another news story of a missing person, not found.
“Control Blue, attending fire crews and all responders also performed to a very high standard during this incident but the caller was pivotal from the start. I thanked Danny before I left the scene and he was very modest about his efforts, but he really was the hero of the hour.”
Firefighters attended from Leeds and Hunslet fire stations along with water rescue crews.
Danny, who went straight back on duty after the extraordinary events, which happened around 1.30am on Sunday, said: “I was 8 hours into my 12 hours shift and I was monitoring the security cameras when I noticed a young man on the river bank. Just out of nowhere he lost his balance and fell into the water, so I quickly just ran outside and did what anyone else would do. It was amazing to see such a quick response from the fire service and I’m just happy I was able to help and keep him safe – I’m really pleased he’s making a good recovery.”
Paul Zonfrillo, Senior Manager for Security at Asda House added: “We’re so proud of Danny and his quick thinking in this situation – the outcome could have been so different without his actions. He jumped into action to save a man’s life and we’re so pleased that he was on shift that evening.”