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A38 closed as man climbs into rigging of Tamar Bridge

By Plymouth Herald  |  Posted: June 18, 2013

  • A38 closed as man climbs into rigging of Tamar Bridge. Picture by Matt Gilley

Comments (3)

The A38 was closed for more than an hour as police negotiated with a man who had climbed into the rigging of the Tamar Bridge.

Officers shut the bridge before 10pm last night, causing traffic delays until it was open after 11.30pm.

Police advised motorists to avoid the area as traffic quickly built up.

A man had climbed high into the rigging of the bridge over the River Tamar and was refusing to come down.

Firefighters from Crownhill and Saltash were called by police at 9.45pm along with the special rescue crew from Camels Head.

After negotiations a decision was made to dispatch two firefighters from the specialist rescue team up the rigging to bring the man down.

Wearing specialist harnesses and using associated specialist equipment and supported by fire service personnel on the ground, the two firefighters climbed the metal rigging to a height of around 10 metres from bridge level where they made contact with the man and were able to secure him into a rescue harness.

Over a period of around 20 minutes, the man was carefully lowered using rescue lines.

Once successfully lowered onto the ground, the man was detached from the harness and rescue lines and handed over to onsite police and paramedics.

The incident was over at 11.44pm and the bridge was reopened.

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  • davidsmith111  |  June 18 2013, 2:05PM

    Unfortunately most local radio is either automated in the evenings or broadcast from Leeds (as in the case of Radio Devon/Cornwall after 7pm). However the excellent "Golden Oldies Plymouth Radio" broadcasts 24 hrs a day and provides local news and information 24 hours a day. It is broadcast from Barne Barton in Plymouth and is available on the Net (http://tinyurl.com/bz6ajqh) or via the Tunein app on smartphones. They covered this story last night until the bridge opened.

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  • jennyplym  |  June 18 2013, 12:22PM

    It is indeed very sad but the Tamar Bridge Management now need to look at how secure the bridge is, as this sort of thing and people jumping off is happening far too often these days, also was it necessary to close the whole bridge? they could have kept one lane on the main deck open and one cantalever thus avoiding miles of backed up traffic, as for the Local Radio I tuned in and heard NOTHING about this problem, so it seems our local Radio is either pre-recorded, or comes from another part of the UK especially "Your Radio Station BBC Radio Devon" Nothing local about it after 9pm it seems. The Police may well have been telling people to avoid the area as the bridge was closed, but if you are tuned to a radio station such as BBC Radio Devon they were just playing music and some daft chap announcing the next record and giving us the weather, even the 11pm News was National News and nothing local. So unless your tuned to the Police Radio frequency their warnings were not heard!!!!!!

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  • soultoucher  |  June 18 2013, 11:29AM

    @Tim That's why it's so important to properly assess, diagnose and treat people who feel they must do these things to be heard. Unfortunately, that doesn't always happen on the first attempt, so they do it again and hopefully the next diagnosis will be correctly treated. Mental illnesses are so complex it's sometimes difficult to pinpoint it first time, but you seem to be saying don't try, let them get on with it and die? What an ignorant approach and I'm surprised to hear it from you. Meanwhile, the guy could have just been drunk and thought he was superman or just did it for a laugh, in which case he'll be charged.

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