Officers praised for brave attempt to save mans life before fatal fall
An inquest into the tragic death of a taxi driver has praised officers for the attempts to save the mans life before he fell.
Former Grimsby taxi driver Mark Stephen, 45, tragically fell from the Humber Bridge back in December 2018.
The inquest held at Cleethorpes Town Hall this week heard how officers spotted Mr Stephen’s Citroen with its hazard lights on in the northbound lane of the bridge around 3.50am on Saturday, December 29, 2018.
PC Saunders and PC Hermann saw Mr Stephen climb the railings next to the footpath and ran to offer help.
As he jumped off he clung to the railings as the officers arrived to grab hold of his arms.
The officers told the inquiry how they held on for five minutes to try to save Mr Stephen, pleading with him to let them help him.
At one point the man asked them to pull him up but he tragically slipped from his jacket before falling into the Humber river.
Assistant coroner, Mrs Johnson told the officers: “I know how distressing that would have been. All credit to you and your colleague for what you did that day.”
She added: “PC Saunders and PC Hermann should be given credit for trying to keep him from falling into the river. They must have been very difficult conditions. All credit for the efforts they made.”
A search and rescue helicopter immediately began to carry out searches of the river, along with coastguards and volunteers.
Both banks of the river were also searched within hours of the event.
Sadly, his body was never found.
Mrs Johnson said an application was made to The Chief Coroner for England, Judge Thomas Teague QC to hold an inquest under The Coroners and Justice Act.
She stated there is a duty on coroners to conclude an investigation even though someone is not found before concluding that the death was unascertained.
Since Mr Stephen’s tragic death a number of measures have been put in to place on the bridge to prevent people from jumping.
The Bearded Fishermen created a support group which has has over 200 visitors to their Well-Being Hub on the Country Park on the north side of the bridge.
If you or someone you know is in need of help you can contact the Bearded Fishermen support centre by calling them on 0300 365 0019 or visit their website at www.beardedfishermen.org.uk/
You can also contact the Samaritans helpline 24/7 on 116 123.