Incident 105/2007

An unusual time to be called, as NWAS GMA rarely have reason to call us in the early morning, but at 08:17 this morning NWAS Greater Manchester Area, Paramedic Emergency Control paged the team for us to assist with the recovery of a young man’s body, in very sad circumstances.

A full team page went out at 08:32, and fifteen team members responded to the location near to Radcliffe on the banks of the River Irwell.
The young man had unfortunately taken his own life, and was hanging suspended under a steel girder footbridge, which crosses the River Irwell.

Although not suspended over the water, the man’s position was over the steep river bank, with the River Irwell at the time in full spate conditions.
We arrived at the Sion Street location to meet GMP Officers and Police Community Support Officers present, and proceeded to recover the man’s body to the top of the river banking where GMP CID Officers were able to carry out their necessary investigation on safer ground (prior to our arrival the NWAS Emergency Ambulance had departed the location).


Hand lines and other safety measures were used on this incident, due to the swollen River Irwell, running just below the body.


Team members perform a search of the banks down to the river, looking for anything that may be related to the circumstances surrounding the death of the young man.

Team members then assisted GMP CID with carrying out a search of the steep river bank for possible forensic evidence relating to the unfortunate man.
Throughout the operation, which took place in very heavy rain, all team members present wore their PFDs (personal flotation devices/life jackets), with other team members on the riverside with water throw lines as a health and safety precautionary measure, and with hand lines rigged up principally to assist GMP Officers with accessing the slope.

Once the on scene investigations were complete, team members then evacuated the man’s body using one of our mountain rescue stretchers, to the nearby waiting funeral directors vehicle.

This incident ended at 11:00, and is the second body recovery operation we have carried out for GMP this year.