An off-duty lifeboat crew member told today how he looked on in horror as a man threatened to throw himself off a bridge and into an icy river.
Kyle Murray, 22, a volunteer helmsman with Montrose RNLI, sprung into action after spotting that a man, described as being in his mid 50s, had climbed over the railing of the bridge at Rossie Island in Montrose, which crosses the River Esk, on Tuesday night.
He said: “It was awful. It really looked like the man was about to throw himself into the water below.”
Kyle explained he had been crossing the bridge on his way to the shops just before 10pm yesterday when he came across the situation.
He said: “He was acting really strangely. He was swinging himself back and forward on the railings and walking back and forward.
“He was clearly distressed. He kept walking to the middle point of the bridge which is the highest spot and looked like he was trying to get himself over the railings.
“I parked nearby and got on the phone straight away to the coastguard.
“However, when I was reporting the situation he lunged over the railings and looked like he was about to jump. At that point another passing motorist stopped and went to speak to the man.
“It appeared he was telling this guy he was going to jump.”
He raced to Montrose lifeboat station to join two other crew members on the inshore lifeboat that was despatched to assist.
Kyle added: “By the time we arrived with the boat the police were on the scene. The man eventually climbed back on to the road side of the bridge and walked off to safety with police officers.”
A spokesman for HM Coastguard said: “Montrose lifeboat was launched at 9.45pm on Tuesday night after reports of concern for a man on the road bridge over the River Esk.
“Police led the man to safety.”