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Absolute heroes: Men rescue pensioner after car swept into River Bann

A pensioner was saved from drowning after being plucked from her car when it was washed into the River Bann in Portadown last night.

And, what’s even more remarkable, one of the local heroes cannot even swim himself, yet put all concern for himself aside, acting instinctively and, as firefighters have said, undoubtedly helping to save the life of the pensioner.

It is believed that the woman is in her 70s and her screams alerted passersby to the threat.

Ryan Cummins, a member of Portadown Pikers there to meet club members, was one of those involved and he and fellow rescuers ran to the main road to try and flag down additional help but nobody would stop.

By the time he returned the car was totally submerged but then the pensioner came into view and a human chain was formed to reach her and take her from the vehicle.

Another of those involved in wading out to help rescue the lady was Robert Best.

He said: “I could not swim to save my own life – not even in the slightest.

“I could not bare to see someone die before my own eyes and I did all that I could to save the poor elderly woman’s life and I’m so grateful that God made it possible for me and the other guy.

“We did all that we could and it’s a miracle that we managed to save her. It was so hard hearing her crying for help and feeling so helpless.”

People have taken to Facebook to praise all involved in the rescue operation.

Among them was Robert’s own mum, Jean Best, who has thanked her son “for acting upon his instinct to help someone in distress”.

She has also thanked Ryan Cummins, praising their “combined very successful effort in assisting the lady in distress in the River Bann”.

She said she was praying for the lady to make a full and speedy recovery after her traumatic experience, saying she will be asking that the “Lord continues to bless her with renewed good health and strength in the coming days and future”.

Jean added: “I also thank the Lord for the presence of mind of the two rescuers to work together successfully for the very rewarding outcome of the rescue, and wish everyone concerned God’s richest blessings upon all of their lives and that of their families.”

Others on Facebook, after it was posted by the Portadown Cares page, have praised the “selfless act” of those involved and called for “civic recognition”.

Robert himself, meanwhile, is appealing to anyone who knows the lady who was rescued to contact himself as he has been unable to learn her identity and wants to get in touch.

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