A police officer who rescued a man from freezing water has said he is looking forward to meeting David Hasselhoff – after the Baywatch actor praised his heroics.
Student officer Pc Mohammed Nadeem was nicknamed “The Hoff” after he jumped into the River Irwell to save a man who had fallen in.
Hasselhoff, who played head lifeguard Mitch Buchannon in Baywatch, saw a video of the rescue, when Hardy’s Gate Bridge in Bury became the scene of a rescue that could have come straight out of the classic 90s’ TV show.
The star, who also appeared in 80s’ television series Knight Rider, dubbed Pc Nadeem the “new Hoff” and said: “The real heroes are the ones who act on instinct without hesitation, the ones who believe that we all can help each other.
“I want to meet the real heroes and say, ‘Good on you. Let me shake your hand’… ‘One man can make a difference’ is the theme of Knight Rider, this student police officer made the difference. So cool, so proud.”
Pc Nadeem said: “I have been overwhelmed by the positive messages and stories both from our local community and in the media.
“It’s not something you expect to happen when you’re starting your Saturday shift.
“I would like to thank everyone so much for their support and look forward to having the opportunity to meet the original Hoff when he’s in the UK later in the year.”
Hasselhoff’s publicist confirmed the actor would be in the UK in mid-March, when he hopes he can personally praise the officer, before heading to Germany for a series of concert dates.
The rescue happened on Saturday when police were called to the River Irwell after a man fell into the river.
Officers from Greater Manchester Police (GMP) and teams from Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service attended the scene but on seeing the man in the water, Pc Nadeem, who reportedly cannot swim, jumped eight feet into the river.
He was able to grab hold of the man and drag him to safety, where he was treated by paramedics before being taken to hospital to receive treatment, GMP said.
After the rescue, Superintendent Rick Jackson, of GMP’s Bury Borough, said: “Without hesitation, Pc Nadeem dived off an 8ft drop into freezing, deep and fast-moving water. The man is now safe and receiving the treatment he needs.
“I’d like to commend Pc Nadeem’s actions which were a prime example of why people join the force – to protect people and make sure they are away from harm.”