A HERO council worker waded in to the water to save the lives of two men when their dinghy capsized.

In dramatic scenes in Gourock on Wednesday afternoon, Alex McGhee, who was working nearby the waterfront, dragged both of them to safety with the help of his colleague David Docherty.

The experienced fisherman told the Tele that if the pair had been in the water for five minutes longer they would not have survived.

A major rescue operation was mounted on the water close to Gourock Pool just after 2pm, with lifeboats, the police and ambulances rushing to the scene.

Alex, 49, who works for the grounds team, said: “They were on an old sailing boat and there was a dog on board.

“We were busy working when we noticed the boat was starting to wobble.

“Next thing we heard them shouting for help.

“The men were worried about their dog but it swam to safety.

“I have a boat so I am out on the water all the time.

“I went down the steps and into the water up to my knees to pull them both in.

“They had been treading water for some time and they were exhausted.

“They had drifted in but they were struggling to keep themselves afloat by this time.

“I don’t think they would have made it if they had been in the water for another five minutes.

“By that time there were a few people shouting, a crowd gathered and someone phoned an ambulance.”

A lifeboat rushed to the scene and both men received emergency treatment on the scene.

Modest Alex added: “It was just one of those things, you do what you have to do.

“It was a very dramatic day at work!”

Alex and his workmate were busy laying bedding plants on Albert Road close to the pool when the drama unfolded.

His colleague David, 50, of Dunlop Street, said: “If it wasn’t for Alex they wouldn’t be here. They were in a bad way.

“Alex just went right in there and got them out.

“One of the men in particular looked in a pretty serious state.

“He had turned blue.

“They are both lucky to be alive.”

Nicole McAlees, 19, was enjoying an ice cream in the sunshine with her boyfriend Nico Toma when she spotted the men in trouble.

Nico ran to the waterside to help with the rescue and Nicole called the emergency services.

She said: “We could hear them shouting and I immediately phoned 999 and asked for the Coastguard.

“It is a big relief that they were rescued. It was very dramatic.”

A Coastguard spokesman: “The Helensburgh Lifeboat and Greenock Coastguard along with the police and an ambulance were tasked to the Gourock Pool.

“The incident didn’t happen at the pool, it was in the water just outside.

“Two people fell in the water and were recovered from the water by people at the scene.”