ONLOOKERS stepped in to help a “troubled” man who was believed to be at risk of jumping from a bridge.

A passing nurse, 24, who asked not to be named, felt something wasn’t right when she spotted the man sitting on the Cowdray Avenue Bridge, Colchester, yesterday afternoon.

She was walking to her home off Ipswich Road, Colchester, with her son, who is aged two, when she decided to approach the man.

The good Samaritan, who works as a nurse at Colchester Hospital, said: “I had to go over and chat to him, to delay him until the police could come and take over.

“He was telling me he hears voices and can’t do it anymore.

“I really felt for him as I have been depressed in the past too and felt like suicide was the only way out.”

Essex Police and East of England Ambulance Service were on the scene shortly after they were first contacted at 1.50pm.

The nurse said other onlookers also went to the aid of the man, who they feared was at risk of jumping on to the railway line below.

“I asked him what’s made him feel this way, he sounded very troubled,” she said.

“The more people who came, the more he was edging off the bridge and on to the ledge.

“He just wanted to be left but obviously the services couldn’t do that and needed to help him.”

She added: “I called the police but they were already on their way.

“I waited there with him until police and ambulance got there and exchanged details with the police so they can contact me if need be.

“Police arrived very quickly and were great.

“The ambulance came shortly after.”

An Essex Police spokesman said: "We were called shortly after 1.50pm on Tuesday with reports a man was missing from the Ipswich Road area of Colchester.

"He was found on a bridge nearby and brought to safety. 

"He was left in the care of health professionals."