Train driver saves life of sui­ci­dal teen at Waver­ley

The Scotsman - - News Digest - By BRIAN MEIKLE

A train driver saved the life of a sui­ci­dal young­ster at Waver­ley Sta­tion in Ed­in­burgh af­ter check­ing his mo­bile and find­ing “good­bye” texts to loved ones.

Adrian Bayne ap­proached the dis­tressed young­ster af­ter spot­ting signs that he might want to take his own life.

The 43-year-old, who had just fin­ished work, per­suaded the young man to hand over his mo­bile phone so he could call his fam­ily – and found the farewell mes­sages. Adrian, from Pre­ston­pans, East Loth­ian, then alerted po­lice and the fam­ily of the man.

The Virgin Trains driver had taken a Sa­mar­i­tans in­ter­ven­tion train­ing course af­ter one of his friends took his own life three years pre­vi­ously.

It was the first time Adrian had used his train­ing, and the in­ci­dent, which hap­pened dur­ing the sum­mer, earned him a place among fi­nal­ists for the Sa­mar­i­tans Life Saver Award at the Rail­staff Awards in Coven­try last week.

Adrian said: “The guy was sit­ting in an area of the sta­tion that peo­ple nor­mally wouldn’t be sit­ting, in a dis­tressed man­ner, with his phone in his hand. He said his mum was sup­posed to be pick­ing him up in Ber­wick, but he was in Ed­in­burgh at 10:40 at night. At that time of night there’s al­ways drunk peo­ple and it’s about telling the dif­fer­ence between the drunks and peo­ple in trou­ble, and this guy was ob­vi­ously in trou­ble.”

Adrian of­fered to phone his mother and saw mes­sages on his mo­bile from peo­ple con­cerned about him.

Adrian added: “The mes­sages he had sent were ba­si­cally say­ing good­bye to them, with­out go­ing into too much de­tail he was talk­ing about end­ing his life. So I phoned Bri­tish Trans­port Po­lice and they sat with him for 20 min­utes.

“Part of the train­ing is that once you’ve passed them on to the po­lice you dis­tance your­self, but I know he was saved. I phoned his mum and she was in tears, but I told her he was safe.

“I had mixed feel­ings. It’s ob­vi­ously emo­tional at the start, es­pe­cially be­cause of what hap­pened with my friend. But af­ter­wards I was feel­ing good be­cause I man­aged to help save him.”

Adrian said he wants to pro­mote the im­por­tance of sui­cide aware­ness, not only be­cause it is close to his heart but also be­cause of the rel­e­vance for train driv­ers. He is en­cour­ag­ing other rail work­ers to take up the train­ing.

He said: “As a train driver we’re at the fore­front of sui­cides. I don’t think there’s enough un­der­stand­ing of the

0 Train driver Adrian Bayne helped save sui­ci­dal young­ster – now he’s up for a Sa­mar­i­tans award ef­fect of sui­cides on train driv­ers. I’ve never had one my­self but there was one on the tracks the other day and it’s hor­ri­ble. But ob­vi­ously there is also the im­pact on the vic­tims’ fam­i­lies as well.

“It’s some­thing that can be stopped. The train­ing says that when the per­son is in that zone there’s a win­dow of op­por­tu­nity of 30 to 40 min­utes in which you can save them. That’s what the train­ing is about, try­ing to make the most of that op­por­tu­nity.

“As well as the Sa­mar­i­tans train­ing which I did af­ter my friend died, I’m also a men­tal health cham­pion at work. We’re try­ing to get more peo­ple to do the train­ing be­cause it is a big is­sue on the rail­ways.” l Con­tact Sa­mar­i­tans on 116 123 or via email at: jo@sa­mar­i­tans.org

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