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Welsh Man Helps Rescue Woman Threatening To Jump Off Bridge


A Welsh man reportedly held the hand of a distraught woman threatening to jump off a freeway bridge and tried to calm her down for about an hour.

Michael Owen, 22, of Cwmavon, Wales, was traveling with his girlfriend, Jemma Richards, near Chippenham in Wiltshire, England, when they saw a clearly distressed woman standing on the edge of a bridge on the other side of the road, BBC reported on Oct. 20.

The woman had climbed over the bridge's safety railings and was threatening to plunge onto the busy M4 motorway below.

Owen, who formerly worked as a bouncer in Swansea, Wales, said he pulled over immediately and approached the woman.

"I got to her and started talking to her," the 6-foot-5 rugby player originally told Wales News Service, reports the Mirror. "She was clearly very upset, so I just talked about anything I could think of with her."

Owen added that he and his girlfriend -- who first noticed the woman -- tried to stop traffic.

"When I got to her I managed to get my arms through the barriers to hold onto her," he said.

Owen said the woman seemed to calm down after hearing his strong Welsh accent, so he started talking to her about rugby, according to BBC News.  

Although a fire engine soon arrived at the scene, Owen still stayed with the woman.

"We waited a good hour, because she was too frightened to go down a ladder, so they needed to bring out a second engine," Owen said.

"The police closed off the road and parked a [truck] underneath the bridge, just in case she fell off," he added.

Owen said he held the woman's hand to keep her from slipping, despite a painful rugby injury.

"I have a broken finger from rugby so I was obviously in a bit of pain but I managed to get my grip," Owen, who plays for Chinnor Rugby Club in Wales, told BBC News.

Owen said an elderly man also stopped to help before police and fire services arrived.

The woman was eventually rescued by emergency personnel and taken to the Great Western Hospital in Swindon, England.

Owen's sister, Sarah, said she was extremely proud of her brother's selflessness.  

"I am just so proud of him for his actions, I could just burst with pride, and I know the entire family could too," she told the Mirror. "He has an amazing personality and a huge heart, which is evident from his actions here."

Sources: Mirror, BBC News / Photo credit: Wales News Service via BBC News


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