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“Hero” cyclists rescue woman from west London canal

Adam Gajewski and Adrian Sobolewski spotted her in the water during their early morning towpath ride

Two cyclists in west London have been hailed as “heroes” after they rescued a woman from a canal.

According to the local website Ealingtoday.co.uk, news of the incident, which happened in the week following Christmas, was reported in the North Greenford Residents Association Magazine.

Adam Gajewski and Adrian Sobolewski were on an early morning bike ride on the towpath of the Paddington Branch of the Grand Union Canal when they noticed the woman.

The magazine said that “they spotted her body under the water and rushed to her aid.

“Once they had managed to get her out of the canal, Adam and Adrian called the paramedics.

“While they waited for them to arrive, they kept her talking and woke up local canal boat residents to collect blankets and clothing to warm her up.

“The lady told Adam and Adrian that she had lost all hope and felt that she had no other option.

“She had tried to get help from her GP but this had not been forthcoming and she had nowhere left to turn.

“Their courageous efforts saved her life for which she was very grateful,” the magazine added.

“Hopefully she got the help and support she needed to get through a challenging time in her life.”

The suicide prevention charity Samaritans has highlighted that the coronavirus pandemic is taking a toll on people’s mental health.

Last year, it said that up to 20 December, it had  “supported people who are struggling to cope over 1,700,000 times in the nine months since the national lockdown was imposed.

“During this time, coronavirus was a specific concern in 374,882 emotional support contacts – however, our volunteers suggest it is affecting all callers in some way,” it added.

The Samaritans website contains advice to people who are struggling with their mental health on how they can obtain help.

The charity’s advisors can be contacted at any time on the free telephone number 116 123, or via email tojo [at] samaritans.org "> jo [at] samaritans.org with a response time of 24 hours.

It has also developed a self-help app that enables users to “Keep track of how you're feeling, and get recommendations for things you can do to help yourself cope, feel better and stay safe in a crisis.”

Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.

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