Gosport Royal Marine hailed a hero for saving woman from plunging 80ft from a bridge

Captain Sam Hairsine of the Royal Marines
Captain Sam Hairsine of the Royal Marines
Picture: Malcolm Wells

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  • Marine climbs over the barrier and pulls woman to safety
  • Now he is set to receive a bravery award from Greater Manchester Police
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A COURAGEOUS marine who risked his own life to save a ‘suicidal’ woman from leaping off an 80ft bridge is to be recognised for his heroism.

Captain Sam Hairsine, of Gosport, ran over to help the distressed woman when he spotted her hanging over the edge of a bridge in Manchester.

People just seemed to be walking by and weren’t helping. So I knew I had to do something

Captain Sam Hairsine, director of music at the Band of Her Majesty’s Royal Marines, Portsmouth

The dad-of-one leapt over the railings and inched his way towards her, as she was threatening to jump on to the road below.

Without a second thought for his own safety, Sam grabbed her wrist to stop her falling and stayed with her while a passer-by spoke to her.

With the situation becoming more precarious Sam, accompanied by an off-duty police officer and a firefighter, helped pull the woman over the barrier and to safety.

Sam, who is a director of music at the Band of Her Majesty’s Royal Marines, Portsmouth, is in Manchester studying for a masters in Conducting at the Royal Northern College of Music.

He is now due to receive a Police Chief’s Citizen Commendation after Inspector Jon Middleton reported his heroic actions.

However, in spite of the praise, modest marine Sam, 34, was adamant he was not a hero.

‘In the marines we have a culture where we don’t walk by the small or big things – that’s what we’re taught in training,’ explained Sam.

Talking about the rescue he added: ‘I was at the other end of the bridge on my way to the Royal Northern College of Music when I saw her.

‘People just seemed to be walking by and weren’t helping.

‘So I knew I had to do something. I went over and climbed over the railing and got hold of her wrist to stop her jumping.

‘She had to be in a pretty dark place to consider doing something like that.’

The woman was detained under the Mental Health Act and taken to hospital.

Sam discovered his bravery award after seeing a post by Greater Manchester Police on the force’s Facebook page urging him to come forward.

After a discussion with his wife Claire, Sam contacted police.

He added: ‘I’m not a hero. It was a real team effort between me and the other people there.

‘But it was heartwarming to be recognised for helping. I just came away feeling really good.’

Sam said he has 18 months left on his university course.

He joined the band service in September 1999 as a musician. Since then, he has performed around the world, including in the Gulf with RFA Argus and Italy as part of the Nato band.

He added his wife is his real hero.

‘She works as a nurse at QA and saves people every day,’ said Sam.