Former Gosport PC rescues woman from icy river

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A FORMER Gosport police officer dramatically rescued a woman from a frozen lake.

Ian ‘Bob’ Hope, who now works as a transit peace officer in Calgary, Canada, did not think twice before pulling the woman from the Bow River.

Calgary Transit Peace Officers Darcy Hare, left, and Ian 'Bob' Hope stand at the location where they rescued a woman from the Bow River near the Langevin Bridge in the Canadian city.

Calgary Transit Peace Officers Darcy Hare, left, and Ian 'Bob' Hope stand at the location where they rescued a woman from the Bow River near the Langevin Bridge in the Canadian city.

The 50-year-old and his fellow officer Darcy Hare spotted a man trying to rescue the woman as they drove over the Langevin Bridge.

Ian said: ‘We saw this guy and the first thought was we’ve got to shout at him to get off.

‘Then panning left we see that he’s walking to a person in the water who’s clinging on to the ice shelf – she’s up to her neck in the water. It’s iced up to the mid-point of the river. It’s not stable, you shouldn’t walk on it.’

The pair had to clamber over boulders covered in snow to get to the river, all in freezing –13C weather.

Ian added: ‘By the time we got one metre away from the edge the guy that walked out had managed to pull her three-quarters of the way out of the water but he was tired and she was slipping back.

‘We dived forward, grabbed her hand and ran backwards.

‘She wasn’t talking at all, her hair had completely frozen, and she just started shutting down.

‘The river is really fast flowing so you don’t know what the thickness is there – it’s not a safe place to be.’

The vulnerable woman was taken to hospital.

Ian, who moved out to Canada in 2006 after serving as a constable in Gosport has had his exploits reported far and wide in the country.

He said: ‘It’s a bit different – we don’t have many of these types of rescues back in Hampshire do we?’

Ian, formerly of Downside, in Gosport, added he had never faced such a challenge.

He moved to the country with his wife Nicola, 38, and daughter Molly, 10, and has since had another daughter Ellie, six.

The former Mr Southampton winner’s parents Sylvia Hope, 73, and Chris, 75, still live in Stubbington.

Sylvia told The News: ‘I’m very proud.

‘I still don’t know how he walked on it.’