POLICE have thanked members of the public who helped to rescue a vulnerable missing person from a river in Pembrokeshire.
Officers involved say that without significant assistance, the search for the holiday-maker would have run into the night, putting his safety at risk.
Dyfed-Powys Police received a call reporting a man in his 20s missing at around 6.20pm yesterday (Monday, July 29). He was on holiday with his parents, and had left their holiday cottage near Cosheston without them.
A member of the public reported seeing him run across a busy road, narrowly avoiding being hit by traffic, before making off down a lane and through some fields.
Not being local, he had no knowledge of the area, but his mother was able to track him through his smart watch. On seeing his location, there was a risk that he might go towards a river.
Response, Roads Policing and NPT officers were tasked with looking for him, along with the police dog unit.
Sergeant Daniel Morris said “This was a fast-moving operation as we were looking for a vulnerable man who did not know the area and was heading towards a river.
“Unfortunately, he did go into the river, which meant we were no longer able to track his movements and needed to act swiftly to get him out.”
Seeing the number of police officers in the area, several members of the public were made aware of the search and stepped in to help.
They found him in the river, where he had swum a considerable distance and was cold and exhausted, and they helped him out of the water.
Chief Inspector Louise Harries said: “We are extremely grateful to everyone who helped us during the search.
“Without the significant assistance received, it is likely he wouldn’t have been found before darkness fell, which would have made the search a great deal more difficult.
“This would have increased the risk of the male coming into serious harm in the cold water.
“The people assisting also provided support to the family. I am extremely grateful to them and our officers for their swift response.”
The man suffered minor injuries and was checked over by paramedics before being returned to his parents.