Police officers' brave attempts to save man in the water at Lakeside Country Park in Eastleigh

Daily Echo: The rescue operation at Lakeside Country Park in Eastleigh yesterday afternoon The rescue operation at Lakeside Country Park in Eastleigh yesterday afternoon

TWO brave police officers plunged into a freezing cold lake in a desperate but futile bid to save a man from drowning at a Hampshire park.

The pair were first on the scene at Lakeside Country Park yesterday responding to a panic-stricken 999 call from a member of the public who could see a man shouting and in trouble in the water.

The Daily Echo understands he was visiting the park with friends and took a decision to go swimming in the lake when he got into serious trouble about 20 metres out and disappeared from sight.

The two officers, both aged 31 and working at Eastleigh police station, took off their stab vests, utility belts and shoes and quickly tied throw ropes around their waists before wading into the water to try to reach the man.

They were being helped by two colleagues on the shore who were holding the ropes to ensure their safety.

But after a matter of minutes – having underestimated the coldness, depth and darkness of the water – they were forced to retreat and let specialist divers who had arrived on the scene go in.

In an afternoon of high drama, the incident quickly escalated to an all-services emergency, with 13 police cars, multiple fire appliances and at least five ambulance and paramedic vehicles arriving.

Boats were inflated to scour the lake, which is used by swimmers and boating clubs, while divers from all three services went into the water to search for the man.

A helicopter from the National Police Air Service circled overhead using its thermal heat-seeking equipment to try to locate him, while the Coastguard was also put on standby to help.

Meanwhile on land, a cordon was set up to keep back visitors to the park, normally busy with dog walkers and cyclists.

Stunned dog walkers, fishermen and residents watched on as the beauty spot, on the outskirts of the town, was transformed into the scene of a mammoth search operation for more than two hours.

An incident tent was set up just yards from the water’s edge while support vehicles from all emergency services were on standby.

Then at about 2pm, grim news started to emerge that a 28-year-old man had been recovered from the water.

He was rushed by ambulance to Southampton General Hospital in what was described as a serious, life-threatening condition.

But despite attempts to keep him alive, he was later pronounced dead. The incident is not being treated as suspicious.

As emergency services started to leave the scene, a woman was seen crying and being comforted by a man and another woman.

A police officer was also seen leaving the car park at the lakes, his outer police jacket removed and a white sheet wrapped around his body.

As news of the discovery began to spread, passers-by told of their shock at the drama that had unfolded at the lake, one of three at the popular country park.

Fisherman Colin Pitcher, from Derby Road, Eastleigh, said he was on a separate fishing lake adjacent to the one being searched but had seen three “young-looking”

people sitting on a bench at around midday.

He said: “The next thing I knew, there was some shouting – I did not hear what was being said.

“All of a sudden there were some police officers running across the field towards the lake. There were sirens all over the place.”

Dog walkers were being turned away from their usual pathways and tracks around the water.

A young mum who arrived at the scene to find a major incident running said: “It’s unbelievable what’s happened. My husband comes down here for a sleep at lunchtime and he said that when he woke up there was fire and police vehicles everywhere.”

Jim Daniels, from Eastleigh, who visits the lake regularly to view wildlife, said: “It’s quite distressing and it has been a very dramatic incident.”

Sarah Lane, from Chadwick Road, Eastleigh, said she had “never seen this volume of emergency services in one place before”.

Another woman described seeing police cars, ambulances and fire engines driving past her at pace down Southampton Road before rushing down the driveway to the lake area.

Hampshire police are expected to identify the man today.

Comments (23)

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10:57am Tue 10 Dec 13

SotonLad says...

It's obviously tragic that he has died but how rediculous to go swimming. Why did his friends not stop him? Well done to the officers for getting in and trying to find him - disgraceful that they were at risk for someone that chose to go into the water into the first place. As I said, it's tragic for him and his family as this should never have happened.
It's obviously tragic that he has died but how rediculous to go swimming. Why did his friends not stop him? Well done to the officers for getting in and trying to find him - disgraceful that they were at risk for someone that chose to go into the water into the first place. As I said, it's tragic for him and his family as this should never have happened. SotonLad

11:17am Tue 10 Dec 13

Brite Spark says...

I'm pleased that the very brave police officers did their very best for this guy, and were not held back in their efforts by someone in the management chain quoting health and safety regulations.
I'm pleased that the very brave police officers did their very best for this guy, and were not held back in their efforts by someone in the management chain quoting health and safety regulations. Brite Spark

11:19am Tue 10 Dec 13

southamptonadi says...

Its nice to see the police abandon H&S instead of refusing to go in beacause its too deep.

Its not nice to see someone die though despite the brave and obvious massive response from the emergancy services.
Its nice to see the police abandon H&S instead of refusing to go in beacause its too deep. Its not nice to see someone die though despite the brave and obvious massive response from the emergancy services. southamptonadi

12:13pm Tue 10 Dec 13

hmw says...

SotonLad wrote:
It's obviously tragic that he has died but how rediculous to go swimming. Why did his friends not stop him? Well done to the officers for getting in and trying to find him - disgraceful that they were at risk for someone that chose to go into the water into the first place. As I said, it's tragic for him and his family as this should never have happened.
Having met these people more than once, shall we just say they may not have been in full possession of their faculties at the time
[quote][p][bold]SotonLad[/bold] wrote: It's obviously tragic that he has died but how rediculous to go swimming. Why did his friends not stop him? Well done to the officers for getting in and trying to find him - disgraceful that they were at risk for someone that chose to go into the water into the first place. As I said, it's tragic for him and his family as this should never have happened.[/p][/quote]Having met these people more than once, shall we just say they may not have been in full possession of their faculties at the time hmw

12:26pm Tue 10 Dec 13

phil maccavity says...

The police often suffer from bad press and they are rightly called to account when their conduct doesn't measure up to the high standards we expect.
However on a daily basis they have to deal with the increasing challenges society places upon them, as do Firemen/Medical staff etc
Full credit to the brave Police Officers who tried to save this young man's life. I doubt if there would have been many of us who would have taken up the challenge.
The police often suffer from bad press and they are rightly called to account when their conduct doesn't measure up to the high standards we expect. However on a daily basis they have to deal with the increasing challenges society places upon them, as do Firemen/Medical staff etc Full credit to the brave Police Officers who tried to save this young man's life. I doubt if there would have been many of us who would have taken up the challenge. phil maccavity

12:35pm Tue 10 Dec 13

Brock_and_Roll says...

hmw wrote:
SotonLad wrote: It's obviously tragic that he has died but how rediculous to go swimming. Why did his friends not stop him? Well done to the officers for getting in and trying to find him - disgraceful that they were at risk for someone that chose to go into the water into the first place. As I said, it's tragic for him and his family as this should never have happened.
Having met these people more than once, shall we just say they may not have been in full possession of their faculties at the time
Indeed - the upset lady shown in the picture yesterday was holding a can of Grolsch. Overall, just very sad!
[quote][p][bold]hmw[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]SotonLad[/bold] wrote: It's obviously tragic that he has died but how rediculous to go swimming. Why did his friends not stop him? Well done to the officers for getting in and trying to find him - disgraceful that they were at risk for someone that chose to go into the water into the first place. As I said, it's tragic for him and his family as this should never have happened.[/p][/quote]Having met these people more than once, shall we just say they may not have been in full possession of their faculties at the time[/p][/quote]Indeed - the upset lady shown in the picture yesterday was holding a can of Grolsch. Overall, just very sad! Brock_and_Roll

12:38pm Tue 10 Dec 13

sparkster says...

Im sorry the chap died but to go swimming at this time of year in a lake???? What about an indoor swimming pool?
Im sorry the chap died but to go swimming at this time of year in a lake???? What about an indoor swimming pool? sparkster

12:48pm Tue 10 Dec 13

Shoong says...

Darwinism strikes again.
Darwinism strikes again. Shoong

1:46pm Tue 10 Dec 13

speedyuk says...

Now someone mentioned the bloke was called Austin anyone know the surname
Now someone mentioned the bloke was called Austin anyone know the surname speedyuk

2:11pm Tue 10 Dec 13

S Pance says...

Brock_and_Roll wrote:
hmw wrote:
SotonLad wrote: It's obviously tragic that he has died but how rediculous to go swimming. Why did his friends not stop him? Well done to the officers for getting in and trying to find him - disgraceful that they were at risk for someone that chose to go into the water into the first place. As I said, it's tragic for him and his family as this should never have happened.
Having met these people more than once, shall we just say they may not have been in full possession of their faculties at the time
Indeed - the upset lady shown in the picture yesterday was holding a can of Grolsch. Overall, just very sad!
Sorry. You are wrong. She was not seen with a can of Grolsch.

It was a can of Holsten Pils.
[quote][p][bold]Brock_and_Roll[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]hmw[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]SotonLad[/bold] wrote: It's obviously tragic that he has died but how rediculous to go swimming. Why did his friends not stop him? Well done to the officers for getting in and trying to find him - disgraceful that they were at risk for someone that chose to go into the water into the first place. As I said, it's tragic for him and his family as this should never have happened.[/p][/quote]Having met these people more than once, shall we just say they may not have been in full possession of their faculties at the time[/p][/quote]Indeed - the upset lady shown in the picture yesterday was holding a can of Grolsch. Overall, just very sad![/p][/quote]Sorry. You are wrong. She was not seen with a can of Grolsch. It was a can of Holsten Pils. S Pance

3:28pm Tue 10 Dec 13

Norahbatty says...

hmw wrote:
SotonLad wrote:
It's obviously tragic that he has died but how rediculous to go swimming. Why did his friends not stop him? Well done to the officers for getting in and trying to find him - disgraceful that they were at risk for someone that chose to go into the water into the first place. As I said, it's tragic for him and his family as this should never have happened.
Having met these people more than once, shall we just say they may not have been in full possession of their faculties at the time
Do you mean that once again they were off their face? Were seen earlier in the day in the town arguing and with cans in their hands
[quote][p][bold]hmw[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]SotonLad[/bold] wrote: It's obviously tragic that he has died but how rediculous to go swimming. Why did his friends not stop him? Well done to the officers for getting in and trying to find him - disgraceful that they were at risk for someone that chose to go into the water into the first place. As I said, it's tragic for him and his family as this should never have happened.[/p][/quote]Having met these people more than once, shall we just say they may not have been in full possession of their faculties at the time[/p][/quote]Do you mean that once again they were off their face? Were seen earlier in the day in the town arguing and with cans in their hands Norahbatty

4:04pm Tue 10 Dec 13

Letitsnow says...

Very sad for every one involved , just before Xmas FairPlay to the police ,,, drugs and beer don't go .
Very sad for every one involved , just before Xmas FairPlay to the police ,,, drugs and beer don't go . Letitsnow

4:47pm Tue 10 Dec 13

sotonwinch09 says...

Unfortunately not being in full control of your body due to drink and drugs can lead to these events. He could have had a decent life but unfortunately chose the wrong path.
Unfortunately not being in full control of your body due to drink and drugs can lead to these events. He could have had a decent life but unfortunately chose the wrong path. sotonwinch09

4:47pm Tue 10 Dec 13

RomseyKeith says...

A tragic outcome, but fairplay to the police for trying all they could. It shows a good level of training too, as they tied ropes to their waists too to limit the personal risk and aid in the rescue attempt.
Our Police Force doesn't get enough credit, especially when they're out there in all weathers performing acts of this callibre.
A tragic outcome, but fairplay to the police for trying all they could. It shows a good level of training too, as they tied ropes to their waists too to limit the personal risk and aid in the rescue attempt. Our Police Force doesn't get enough credit, especially when they're out there in all weathers performing acts of this callibre. RomseyKeith

5:30pm Tue 10 Dec 13

beatrixkitto says...

Might be an idea not to have commenting on this story. Think of this guys family.
Might be an idea not to have commenting on this story. Think of this guys family. beatrixkitto

6:20pm Tue 10 Dec 13

beatrixkitto says...

Reality-man wrote:
beatrixkitto wrote:
Might be an idea not to have commenting on this story. Think of this guys family.
Not sure he was thinking of his family when downing cans and jumping in a frozen lake for a swim
And I am sure his family are suffering enough, without all this speculation.
[quote][p][bold]Reality-man[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]beatrixkitto[/bold] wrote: Might be an idea not to have commenting on this story. Think of this guys family.[/p][/quote]Not sure he was thinking of his family when downing cans and jumping in a frozen lake for a swim[/p][/quote]And I am sure his family are suffering enough, without all this speculation. beatrixkitto

6:46pm Tue 10 Dec 13

plastic_fantastic says...

Not very nice outcome even if the said people had been drinking and doing etc... But again where praise is due is to the Police for giving 2 fingers to the clipboard fluorescent jacket wearing brigade and actually doing the right thing. I just hope that the officers involved do not get reprimanded for their dangerous behaviour....

One does expect a piece from the echo in a couple of weeks saying they have been suspended :(
Not very nice outcome even if the said people had been drinking and doing etc... But again where praise is due is to the Police for giving 2 fingers to the clipboard fluorescent jacket wearing brigade and actually doing the right thing. I just hope that the officers involved do not get reprimanded for their dangerous behaviour.... One does expect a piece from the echo in a couple of weeks saying they have been suspended :( plastic_fantastic

9:42pm Tue 10 Dec 13

hantslass says...

I heard the reason he ran into the lake was because he was running from the police. what a sad ending for everyone involved
I heard the reason he ran into the lake was because he was running from the police. what a sad ending for everyone involved hantslass

9:05am Wed 11 Dec 13

sotonwinch09 says...

The police are not tied behind health and safety. If the officers feels able enough then they can go in to water to try save someone. If they do not feel able or it looks too dangerous then they will not. Either way they will not be criticized. Well the press would criticize but not the force.
The police are not tied behind health and safety. If the officers feels able enough then they can go in to water to try save someone. If they do not feel able or it looks too dangerous then they will not. Either way they will not be criticized. Well the press would criticize but not the force. sotonwinch09

9:21am Wed 11 Dec 13

speedyuk says...

I live near to this couple a pair if alcoholics always fighting and causing misery to their neighbors rumor has it on the street that he did this for a dare he was pi ss ed up and showing off a sad time for family yet another drain on society him and his crying girlfriend still drinking in the pics now she will go on a bender and blame this she will beca victim forever more draining society. A tragic loss of life that could if been prevented as I am sure they have had everything thrown at them the authorities can buy to get them off the drink they choose this path abdbthysbuscshst happens I feel sorry for his family
And the poor officers that tried one of them cud of died saving him and for what him to reach for another can
I live near to this couple a pair if alcoholics always fighting and causing misery to their neighbors rumor has it on the street that he did this for a dare he was pi ss ed up and showing off a sad time for family yet another drain on society him and his crying girlfriend still drinking in the pics now she will go on a bender and blame this she will beca victim forever more draining society. A tragic loss of life that could if been prevented as I am sure they have had everything thrown at them the authorities can buy to get them off the drink they choose this path abdbthysbuscshst happens I feel sorry for his family And the poor officers that tried one of them cud of died saving him and for what him to reach for another can speedyuk

9:23am Wed 11 Dec 13

speedyuk says...

I live near to this couple a pair if alcoholics always fighting and causing misery to their neighbors rumor has it on the street that he did this for a dare he was pi ss ed up and showing off a sad time for family yet another drain on society him and his crying girlfriend still drinking in the pics now she will go on a bender and blame this she will become a victim forever more draining society. A tragic loss of life that could if been prevented as I am sure they have had everything thrown at them the authorities can buy to get them off the drink they choose this path and this is how it ends. I feel sorry for his family
And the poor officers that tried one of them cud of died saving him and for what him to reach for another can
I live near to this couple a pair if alcoholics always fighting and causing misery to their neighbors rumor has it on the street that he did this for a dare he was pi ss ed up and showing off a sad time for family yet another drain on society him and his crying girlfriend still drinking in the pics now she will go on a bender and blame this she will become a victim forever more draining society. A tragic loss of life that could if been prevented as I am sure they have had everything thrown at them the authorities can buy to get them off the drink they choose this path and this is how it ends. I feel sorry for his family And the poor officers that tried one of them cud of died saving him and for what him to reach for another can speedyuk

10:55am Wed 11 Dec 13

hantslass says...

We seem to spend billions on helping the world and their problems its about time we stopped that and helped people in THIS COUNTRY who has drink/drugs problems not enough help for them because of the cost mmmmm. I know some people dont want help but i'm sure there is a lot of people who do , so instead of cutbacks in THIS COUNTRY cut back on all the world scroungers bringing this country down . yes the natual disasters of the world need help , but a lot of governments live in luxury whilst their own people are suffering. Why? because they know we will help them. stop funding and sort out those ruthless governments who create probs . and keep OUR MONEY for OUR PEOPLE
We seem to spend billions on helping the world and their problems its about time we stopped that and helped people in THIS COUNTRY who has drink/drugs problems not enough help for them because of the cost mmmmm. I know some people dont want help but i'm sure there is a lot of people who do , so instead of cutbacks in THIS COUNTRY cut back on all the world scroungers bringing this country down . yes the natual disasters of the world need help , but a lot of governments live in luxury whilst their own people are suffering. Why? because they know we will help them. stop funding and sort out those ruthless governments who create probs . and keep OUR MONEY for OUR PEOPLE hantslass

11:38pm Wed 11 Dec 13

southamptonadi says...

plastic_fantastic wrote:
Not very nice outcome even if the said people had been drinking and doing etc... But again where praise is due is to the Police for giving 2 fingers to the clipboard fluorescent jacket wearing brigade and actually doing the right thing. I just hope that the officers involved do not get reprimanded for their dangerous behaviour....

One does expect a piece from the echo in a couple of weeks saying they have been suspended :(
They wont be reprimanded as they had recieved training for using safety lines in water and follwed there training, so job done, they even risked assed the situation in the water and thats why they came back out.

Source - one of the other DE storys.
[quote][p][bold]plastic_fantastic[/bold] wrote: Not very nice outcome even if the said people had been drinking and doing etc... But again where praise is due is to the Police for giving 2 fingers to the clipboard fluorescent jacket wearing brigade and actually doing the right thing. I just hope that the officers involved do not get reprimanded for their dangerous behaviour.... One does expect a piece from the echo in a couple of weeks saying they have been suspended :([/p][/quote]They wont be reprimanded as they had recieved training for using safety lines in water and follwed there training, so job done, they even risked assed the situation in the water and thats why they came back out. Source - one of the other DE storys. southamptonadi

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