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Mother thanks hero who saved her son after Orkney harbour plunge

The mother of a young man whose car plunged into an Orkney harbour has thanked his mystery rescuer.

Alexander Glasgow was pulled free from his sinking car in the harbour at Balfour on the island of Shapinsay on Friday.

The car plunged off a pier and into the water while boarding a ferry.

It is believed that there may have been a mechanical issue with the car’s brakes or steering.

The 24-year-old, from Kirkwall, was rescued from the sinking car by a heroic passerby who leapt into the water to pull him free before dragging him back to land.

Last night, Mr Glasgow’s mother Helen praised the unknown man’s quick-thinking, and said she would love to make contact to thank him properly.

She said that her son was still in shock about what had happened but was otherwise uninjured – although he is unwilling to get back behind the wheel of a car again.

Ms Glasgow said she owed the man “a lot”, adding: “I would like to thank the guy who rescued Alexander very much.

“If it wasn’t for him then my son would be dead, he would not be here with me now.

“He’s a lucky lad.”

Ms Glasgow runs Harbour Taxis in Kirkwall, where her son also works in the office.

She said she was keen for him to put the incident behind him and get back into the drivers’ seat soon as possible.

“I don’t know what exactly has happened,” she said. “Something seems to have been wrong with the car, the brakes or the steering or something must have failed.

“He’s a very good driver, it wouldn’t be a mistake that he has made.”

The dramatic incident was witnessed by a number of people in the harbour area, including professional cameraman Will Rodger.

He captured video and pictures of the incident, including of the heroic passerby pulling Mr Glasgow away from the car.

One picture appears to show a man lying on the harbour ramp being attended to by locals.

It is understood the local doctor helped at the scene.

Mr Rodger, of Aberdeen-based Airpro Media Ltd, who was in Balfour visiting relatives as the incident unfolded.

He said: “The cars were being loaded on to the ferry when something seemed to go wrong with the car.

“It seemed like the steering locked and he just carried on into the water.

“It went off and the guy was struggling to open the door and then the older man jumped off the pier to get to him.

“The first responders were on the scene within minutes to look after them and give them assistance after they were rescued.”

He added: “It was pretty shocking, it’s not the kind of thing you expect to see at all. Cars are loaded on and off these ferries every day without anything going wrong.”

The incident is currently under investigation by Orkney Islands Council, which runs the inter island ferry service.

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