Big thank you from

Moira man saved from icy Park waters

The rescue is underway as the Park Rangers reach out for stranded Terry Edwards. Terry Edwards and Buddy with their rescuers Adrian McStraw (right) and Paul Donnelly. lNLM4910-114gc

The rescue is underway as the Park Rangers reach out for stranded Terry Edwards.

Terry Edwards and Buddy with their rescuers Adrian McStraw (right) and Paul Donnelly. lNLM4910-114gc

A MOIRA man was pulled to safety from the icy waters of Lurgan Park lake last week.

Onlookers feared the worst as Terry Edwards ended up falling into the lake after trying to rescue his two dogs last Wednesday.

The man looked to be a goner until two council employees - Adrian McStraw and Paul Donnelly - sped to his rescue, crawling out over the ice and using a rope to tug him out of the water and back onto the ice.

The incident happened at around 2pm last Wednesday with the majority of the park lake frozen over by sub-zero temperatures.

An eye witness said:': "The dogs must have went out onto the lake after the ducks. The man ran and grabbed a lifebelt to go after them but he only put it under one arm.

"There were boys shouting at him not to go in. He must have got to the edge and the ice must have give way.

"The cord from the lifebelt was a mile short. The two boys who rescued him had to join together two other ropes before going out.

"I thought for sure the boy had had it. He made one effort to get his leg up onto the ice and that was his last kick. He'd no more energy after that."

The onlooker continued: "The two boys got on their tummies along the ice. They kept moving until they got to the end of the mans rope.

"Then they tied their two ropes onto his rope and pulled him out. They trailed him along the ice to the edge.

"By that time the fire brigade and ambulance had arrived. They wrapped him up in silver foil and took him away in the ambulance.

"I reckon he was in that water for 10 to 15 minutes. The two dogs he'd gone to rescue were running round him while he was in the water."

"If those boys hadn't been on their dinner the man would have drowned because there was nobody else there who could save him."

Terry recalls how walk in the Park turned into a nightmare

Terry Edwards has Adrian McStraw and Paul Donnelly to thank for saving his life.

The 59-year-old Moira man's body had gone numb in the sub zero temperatures of the park lake and he'd told his rescuers he was going to drown.

But Adrian and Paul didn't give up hope and eventually were able to drag Terry to safety with the help of the emergency services.

Minutes before the drama civil servant Terry had been enjoying a walk in the park as he does every day. He was accompanied by two Cocker Spaniels - his own dog Buddy and his son's dog Holly.

"I was coming down from the back of the gatehouse," recalled Terry, a grandfather of two young children.

"The two dogs ran in front of me and ran out on the ice to the ducks. When she (Holly) got to the edge the ice gave way. I was coaxing the dog to get out but it wasn't working. My own dog did exactly the same thing. I didn't know what I could do.

"I lifted the life buoy and went out on the ice. I slid out a bit still holding the buoy. I got down
flat and got to the edge. The ice cracked and I went in. I was close enough to the dogs to get them out of the water."

Terry continued: "I was fully submerged up to my neck and I had my arms out of the water. Only the life buoy was keeping me up."

Terry, who has plenty of experience scuba diving, said: "I've never experienced temperatures like that.

"I was worried about my body temperature. I could no longer feel the cold, my legs and body were numb. I had two more attempts to hoist myself up. They were pulling on the rope to help me and I got one leg up on the ice. When I was on top I knew I was okay."

He added: "My body temperature was 31 when I got to the hospital. The only part of me that came out dry was my hat. I was four hours in the hospital because I was suffering from hypothermia. They could only bring my temperature up a degree every hour."

Terry said: "I came back down to the park the next day because I'd people to thank. I'm very grateful for what they did."

Ulster Star