Hero Monica dives into freezing canal to save drowning man
SUMMER JOB PAYS OFF FOR US-BORN FORMER LIFEGUARD HEADING TO INTERVIEW
A YOUNG woman has been hailed a hero after she jumped into a freezing cold canal to save a man from drowning.
Monica Smart, who spent summers working as a lifeguard in the US, had been on her way to an interview at the University of Manchester when she discovered the man struggling in the water in Droylsden, Tameside.
Without hesitation, the brave 27-year-old took off her shoes and jacket and dived into the canal to rescue him, quickly managing to get him to safety.
Monica, who lives in Droylsden but is originally from Ohio, said: “I was walking down the street on my way to meet a professor at the university when I saw these two girls on the bridge waving me over.
“At first I didn’t know if they were signalling to me or someone else, so I called over to ask if they were talking to me and they shouted back there was a man drowning in the canal.
“I ran across the street to where they were and looked over and I saw the man struggling. There was a path down to the canal so I ran down to the side of the water – he was really struggling.
“I tried signalling to him to try and paddle towards me, but he couldn’t, so I shouted to the girls to come down and I took off my shoes and jacket and jumped in. He was completely underwater at this point, but I managed to get him to the side of the water and the girls grabbed his arms and we got him out.” Police and ambulance crews were called to the Ashton Canal, just off Edge Lane, at around 1.45pm and the man was taken to Tameside Hospital for treatment.
His condition was not thought to be serious. Recently married Monica, who has a background in archaeological science, says she didn’t think twice about jumping into the water.
“I’ve been a swimmer for a long
Monica Smart time,” she added. “I swam in high school and had a summer job as a lifeguard so I’m pretty confident in the water. In this kind of situation you can’t hesitate, I didn’t know how long he had been in there and I could see he was really struggling. I’m glad I was able to help.”
She added that her meeting at the university was rescheduled for Wednesday and it went well.
Stuart Smith, the GMP inspector covering Droylsden, described Monica as ‘brave and heroic.’
He said: “It must have been the last thing on our heroine’s mind as she walked along the canal path preparing for an interview.
“However, jumping in and saving this man’s life is what she did.
“Brave and heroic, Monica is a credit to our Tameside community and I hope she had a successful interview after she had dried out.”
Monica has been hailed as ‘brave and heroic’