Dramatic River Rescue At Strand on the Green

Former soldier plunges into the river to rescue drowning woman at Bell & Crown

Dramatic River Rescue At Strand on the Green


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A young man who was having a quiet drink with friends in the garden of the Bell & Crown last week, jumped into to save a woman who was drowning after she screamed that she couldn't swim.

The man, named by a report as Genci Gestila was sitting on a pub garden bench when he thought he saw someone fall into the river downstream at Kew Bridge. The former soldier rushed to the water's edge and called out to the woman. When she disappeared under the surface, he decided to take action and jumped into the water.

According to a newspaper report, the 21-year-old year waiter, who is of Albanian origin but a Greek citizen, said his military training helped him in the rescue. His friend, named as Marvin Andrada, 27, who was with him having a drink also jumped into the water to bring her to safety.

One witness described how bare-chested Mr Gestila emerged from the water ‘looking like Daniel Craig’ from a scene from a James Bond film.

A Met Police spokesman said: 'Police were called at approximately 22:20hrs on Wednesday, 18 October to Kew Bridge, Chiswick, following reports of a person having jumped into the water.
'Officers attended along with colleagues from the London Ambulance Service.

'The person, a female aged in her 20s, was pulled from the water by members of the public by Strand-On-the-Green, near the Bell and Crown pub.

'She did not suffer serious injuries and remains in hospital.'

The fitness enthusiast previously spent nine months carrying out national service, stationed in Sparta, Greece, and the island of Samos, also in Greece. He told Mail Online ‘I was in the Greek Army and I learned how to deal with this sort of thing. ‘We jumped into frozen lakes so this was nothing for me. I have trained for this kind of thing.’ ‘I didn’t really think about how the cold water would affect me. I just wanted to save the girl.’

Staff at the the Bell and Crown pub gave Mr Gestila a pot to tea to warm up after his escapade. He then decided to take the bus home, still dripping wet.

A member of staff told chiswickw4.com that he was not a regular at the pub. We have been unable to contact Mr. Gestila for any comment.


October 22, 2017

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