Rescuers recall dramatic moments they tried to save man from freezing local burn

Local Rescuer Eddie Hunt at the bridge and burn where the man died

Rescuers have described their dramatic battle to save a man from a freezing Perthshire burn.

The 59-year-old got into difficulties when he plunged from a bridge into icy waters near Errol on Friday night.

The man was floating face down in the stream for about 25 minutes as locals fought through the darkness to find him. Despite efforts to resuscitate the victim at the water’s edge, he died in hospital later that night. It is thought he may have struck his head on a metal pipe or a stone as he fell.

Rescuers Eddie Hunt and Stuart McKay were alerted by the screams of another man, 34-year-old Bryan Wrycza, who had also gone into the stream. They pulled him up the embankment, where they said he was “turning purple”. However, he was revived with a warm change of clothes.

Emergency services were scrambled to the scene at the Pow of Grange. Both of the men dragged from the water were taken to Ninewells Hospital in Dundee under police escort.

A force spokesman said the incident was not being treated as suspicious. The pair had stepped off a bus moments before landing in the waist-height water. It is understood one of the men had needed a toilet break and had asked the driver for a quick stop. Mr Wrycza, from Dundee, jumped into the water after seeing his travelling companion fall in.

Mr Hunt, a 23-year-old call centre worker who lives beside the burn, said his partner, Tori Hodgson, answered a call from her father outside, saying someone had gone into the water and they went to help. He said: “I went out and saw the bus sitting at the side of the road. I knew right away something serious must have happened.”

Mr Wrycza said: “It was very dark and he went over a fence and into the water. It was freezing, but I tried to pull him up the side. I tried to save him, but I couldn’t. I am very upset.”