FOUR caring teenagers have been commended by police after they talked a suicidal man down from a bridge.
The 15-year-olds today described the tense moment they came across the distressed man standing on top of Ansdell railway bridge on Woodlands Road.
At one frightening stage they had to stop the man jumping from the bridge.
In an era when some teenagers come under fire for getting mixed up in trouble, Matthew Garrod, Jordan Makepeace, Tyne Davis and Alex Vowles-Bradley showed they are shining examples of young people on the Fylde coast.
The lads were walking to a friend’s house when they came across the man – who is in his mid-20s – standing on top of the bridge with no shoes on.
He asked the boys to take a phone call from his uncle who told Jordan the man had not been feeling himself lately.
Jordan, of Broadway, South Shore, said: “We sat down with him.
“We just talked to him to get him feeling a bit better and waited for the police.
“We just let him say what he wanted to say.
“It felt quite good to help him, but it was a bit shocking when we first found him.”
The friends were able to coax the man down and get him to sit with them nearby until police arrived.
Police today described the boys’ actions as “remarkable”.
PC Deaglan MacCormaic, who attended the scene and found the boys waiting with the man, said: “It appears the remarkable actions of these youngsters have assisted the man who found himself in a vulnerable position last Friday.
“Although we would not advocate approaching strangers, their quick thinking should be commended.”
The boys, who all play rugby for Fylde RFC’s under-16s team, had been returning from watching the club’s second team play and were able to find some common ground with the man, who told them he used to play for Fylde.
However, the lads had to stop the man from making a second attempt to jump from the bridge.
Matthew Garrod, of Stony Hill Avenue, Squires Gate, said: “He started talking about rugby and took our rugby ball off us.
“We sat him down because he was getting a bit dizzy.
“Ten minutes later he stood up and said ‘right lads, I’m going to jump off there’ so I shoved him to the ground.
“I was pretty shaken because I didn’t know what I was going to do.
“He was pretty strong and pretty hard to control him but we did it.”
They were able to keep the man restrained until police arrived.
Tyne Davis, of St Anne’s Road East, St Annes, said: “It didn’t really sink it at first and my heart was racing.
“After we realised what we’d done it was really good.”
The policemen who arrived on the scene minutes later, at around 9.30pm on Friday, thanked the trio and their friend Alex Bowles-Bradley, of Ullswater Road, South Shore, for helping the man before they turned up.
The man was taken to Blackpool Victoria Hospital following the incident.
A North West Ambulance Service spokeswoman said: “We got a call from the patient and the call handler stayed on the line with him until we got there.”