Woman's suicide bid foiled

A 14-YEAR-OLD boy has been hailed a hero by police after saving an elderly woman who had thrown herself off a bridge.

The woman jumped from the walkway of Grafton Bridge after leaving a suicide note on top of her jumper.

The note said: “Sorry boys, the struggle has become too much.”

The youth, Corey Warburton, of South Grafton, was walking across the bridge when he noticed the jumper and note.

Chilled after reading the few words, he looked down into the Clarence River and saw the elderly woman floating facedown.

“At first I thought she was already dead, but then I noticed her moving her arm towards her face,” Corey said.

“I thought 'my God, I am the only one that can save her', so I ripped off my shoes and shirt and jumped off the bridge towards her.”

As he got close to the woman, Corey tried to turn her over, but she refused, dragging them both down.

“When she realised I wasn't going to give up on her she turned over and allowed me to drag her 80 metres back to shore,” he said.

As Corey struggled with the elderly woman, another youth, Michael Bethune, 16, was walking across the bridge with his family and had also come across the suicide note.

When he saw the struggle below he raced towards the far bank and dived in to help Corey pull the woman through the thick weeds on the South Grafton side of the river.

While they were able to keep her head above water, the reeds proved near impenetrable and it was then that Michael's mother, Sandra Shipley, waded in to help.

Despite their efforts the trio still couldn't reach the bank, but were helped by police officers, including Senior Constable Phil Benfield.

“I only helped them drag her through the reeds. This kid pulled her 80 metres to shore by himself,” he said.

A hospital spokesman said the elderly woman was in a stable condition.

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