Hero Mon­ica dives into freez­ing canal to save drown­ing man


Manchester Evening News - - NEWS - By SAM YAR­WOOD sam.yar­[email protected]­i­tymir­ror.com @sam­yarwood89

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’

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