A man has been hailed for his bravery after jumping into the Bridgewater Canal to rescue an elderly woman who appeared to be drowning. Czeslaw Sekrecki, 62, jumped into the “freezing” water without hesitation after noticing the woman, who was 80, “rocking” in the stretch of canal at Eccles.
Her daughter, Edyta Sliwinska, said her father, who is Polish and doesn’t speak much English, was able to rescue the woman and pull her to shore when emergency services arrived.
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Mr Sekrecki and the woman were seen by paramedics, with the woman taken to hospital where it is understood she was treated for shock.
Edyta and her partner praised her father’s “heroic” actions as Mr Sekrecki admitted he also feared drowning after realizing how cold and deep the water was.
Addressing the Manchester Evening News she said: “Around 9:30 a.m. my dad went for a walk along the canal. He works shifts from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. so he likes to go out and walk in the morning with a coffee.
“He was sitting on a bench talking to his mother on the phone when he noticed an elderly woman leaning into the water. She fell and my father started screaming. He jumped into the water and the woman was face down and looked like she was drowning.
“When he got into the water, he realized how deep the channel was and how freezing cold it was, so he himself thought he might drown too. He couldn’t stand standing in the water because it was quite deep but he managed to get her out.”
Edyta said her partner rushed to the scene near Liverpool Road to help her father translate what had happened to the police. She claims that shortly after the police arrived, the elderly woman’s son did too.
“Soon after that the police arrived and the paramedics started attending to the lady who was then taken to hospital,” she said. My father also received help because he was very cold. When they took his statement, the woman’s son arrived and thanked him for saving his mother. My father is a hero.”
A Greater Manchester Police spokesman confirmed they had been called to report a woman in the water, but added she was out of the channel when they arrived. It is understood the woman was taken to hospital and treated for shock.
In a statement, NWAS said: “We received a 999 call reporting a patient in the water at 9:12 a.m. on Tuesday, May 3. A female in her 80s was taken to hospital.”
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