A HERO Greenock police officer saved a man’s life after jumping into the freezing cold River Clyde late at night to rescue him.

PC Aaron McCrone risked his own safety to help pluck the stricken member of the public, who was unconscious and lying face down, from the water off the Esplanade at around 11.40pm last Tuesday.

The 34-year-old probationary officer told the Tele how he quickly realised the seriousness of the situation when he arrived on the scene and had no hesitation in entering the icy-cold water to drag the man to safety.

Constable McCrone said: “Normally you wouldn’t go in the water — we’re certainly not expected to — but we know the Esplanade’s not that deep and there were other officers there to help if I got into trouble.

“The Coastguard was about 15-20 minutes away.

“Somebody had to go in and get him.

“You could easily die in that temperature and he was face down.”

The man was taken to hospital and is thought to have made a full recovery following the incident near the stairs at the bottom of Margaret Street.

PC McCrone, who is entering the final two months of his probationary period, said: “At first it was hard to see because it was pitch black.

“The man was face down in the water and unresponsive.

“At that point other officers arrived and I went down to the water and got him.

“Other officers gave him medical assistance until paramedics arrived and they took him to hospital and he has made a full recovery.

“I went back and had a warm shower - it was a bit chilly.”

Despite his heroics, the policeman insists he was simply doing his job.

Constable McCrone, who lives locally, said: “I didn’t think I was in real danger.

“I thought it through enough that I felt safe to go into the water — but I didn’t anticipate how cold it would be.

“My focus was just on getting him and I managed to get him, turned him over and pulled him to the bottom of the stairs.

“He was quite far from the steps.

“I was just one of the guys who helped, there were guys who gave medical assistance and paramedics were there as well.

“It’s not part of the job but you deal with things scarier than that every day.

“This was just a bit unusual.”

But the modest officer has been hailed by his superiors in Greenock.

Chief Superintendent Gordon Crossan, area commander for Renfrewshire and Inverclyde, praised him for ‘excellent work which undoubtedly saved a life’.