Hero MP saves woman's life after spotting body in the water
A quick-thinking Westcountry MP has saved the life of a woman after he spotted her apparently lifeless body floating in the River Thames near the Palace of Westminster.
Stephen Gilbert was at an event at the House of Commons terrace, overlooking the river, when an unusual object caught his eye.
The St Austell and Newquay MP said that he realised it was a body, but feared the worst.
“To be frank, I thought she was already dead,” he said.
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“There’s lots of flotsam and jetsam floating down the river, but I saw something that caught my eye.
“At first I wasn't quite sure, but then I realised it was a body.
“Then she moved and I got up and went outside and ran down the terrace, where there are life belts.
“She wasn't making any noise, but I threw her the life buoy in probably one of the only good shots in my life, and shouted “can you grab this?”
“She said “Yes dear” and was able to get to it.”
"I think being called a hero is overblown, I'm just pleased to have been in the right place at the right time, I don't think I've done anything else anyone else wouldn't have done."
Police, who had already been alerted to the unfolding drama, were able to get to Westminster Bridge and pull the lady clear from the water.
She was then taken by ambulance to hospital for treatment.
The modest MP, who has asked for an update on the woman’s condition tomorrow, said he did what anyone would have done.
“I was just in the right place at the right time and able to help,” he said.
“I think it is what anyone else would have done under the circumstances.”
Mr Gilbert said the event had left him reeling at first.
“It was the shock and then the adrenaline kicked in.
“I must admit that I've had a glass of wine since and it’s calmed my nerves a bit.”
The event which he was attending was for bus operators from all over the country, although in attendance were representatives from Westcountry firm Western Greyhound.
The Metropolitan Police confirmed that a woman had been pulled from the river near Westminster Pier, just yards from the House of Commons.
A spokesman said: “The woman was rescued from the water by the RNLI from Tower Bridge, the marine policing unit was also involved.
“She has been taken to hospital by London Ambulance Service.”