A YOUNG Callington runner has been praised a 'hero' by police after diving into freezing waters, along with a fellow runner, to rescue a man who jumped off the Tamar Bridge last week.

Officers said the actions of 16-year-old Dan Pengelly from Callington and Jason Hingley undoubtedly saved the man's life.

A police sergeant was called to the bridge at around 8pm on Tuesday, January 27 and found a group of runners, the Tamar Trotters, talking to a man who was on the wrong side of the railings.

Despite negotiation efforts, the 24-year-old man jumped into the freezing Tamar below.

Dan and fellow runner Jason Hingley had seen the events unfolding and had already made their way to the water's edge in anticipation of the incident.

The pair bravely went into the water to rescue the man, keeping him afloat until help arrived.

Sergeant Ryan Canning said: 'He would have surely drowned if it wasn't for the actions of these men.

'After all these years as a police officer, and, just when you think you have seen it all, someone comes along and restores your faith in humanity.

'These men swam out in the freezing water to save the life of someone they had never met and kept that person safe. Absolute heroes — very brave lads.'

Dan, who is also an open water swimmer, said as soon as he worked out what the worst case scenario would be on top of the bridge, he knew he had to use his skills to do whatever he could.

He said he knew he had to find the man quickly otherwise he might have been pulled out further into the water.

The casualty sustained leg injuries and was suffering from exposure. He was treated at Derriford Hospital.