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Last Updated: Wednesday, 22 September, 2004, 14:47 GMT 15:47 UK
Grieving man stops suicide woman
Keith Lane
Keith Lane has placed a cross on the cliff where his wife died
A man who grabbed a suicidal woman as she tried to throw herself from a cliff is to be given a bravery award.

Keith Lane was nominated for the Royal Humane Society award by police after he restrained the woman as she tried to leap from Beachy Head in March.

He had only been visiting the notorious suicide spot in Eastbourne because his wife Maggie had killed herself at the same location the previous week. Mr Lane said: "I just wish someone had been there for her."

He said he had been visiting Beachy Head as he hoped it would help him with the grieving process.

"I felt like it was deja vu and seeing this woman really shocked me.

"I acted on instinct and it felt naturally right, especially after what happened to my own wife."

When he saw a woman running towards the cliff edge, he blocked her way and began talking to her.

Sussex Police said Mr Lane, who lives in Eastbourne, showed "outstanding bravery" in constantly reassuring her and were impressed that he insisted on accompanying her to safety and continuing to check on her welfare.

'Continuing compassion'

David Pennefeather, of the Royal Humane Society, said: "Mr Lane's presence of mind and selfless actions resulted in a life being saved.

"His continuing compassion and concern for the lady, during and after that day, is an example to us all."

Mr Lane, who will be awarded the society's Testimonial on Vellum award in Eastbourne by mayor Barbara Goodall on Wednesday, is keen to prevent other people from committing suicide.

"I am in the process of establishing the Maggie Lane Charity to support the chaplains at Beachy Head increase their watch to 24 hours a day," he said.

Patrols begin at suicide cliffs
22 Aug 04  |  Southern Counties
On the edge with cliff rescue
09 Feb 04  |  Southern Counties
In pictures: A cliff rescue
09 Feb 04  |  Photo Gallery

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