A TRIO of charity cyclists turned lifesavers when they helped to revive a man who had collapsed on the street in cardiac arrest.

Steve Porter, Mark Jones and Graeme Davison were taking part in a 70-mile ride from Middlesbrough to Catterick when they spotted a person being given CPR on Croft bridge, near Darlington.

Quick-thinking Mr Jones flung his bike to the side and took over the process after realising that the CPR was not being done effectively.

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As a trained first-aider, Mr Jones continued the CPR on the apparently lifeless man and with Mr Porter’s help managed to get him breathing again until paramedics arrived and used a defibrillator to restart his heart.

The man who had collapsed was 62-year-old Stephen Barningham, of Croft, and it is thanks to his niece Jane Stores Mallen that the family has managed to track down Mr Porter via Facebook to thank the cyclists.

Ms Stores Mallen said her uncle Mr Barningham is recovering well in Darlington Memorial Hospital and expressed her family’s gratitude to the group.

She said: “We are so grateful - they have saved his life, that is the bottom line, he wasn’t breathing.”

Mr Porter and Mr Jones were taking part in the Royal British Legion’s Northern Ride as part of a five-strong team from Circor Energy Pipeline Engineering in Brompton.

Luckily they were both trained in first aid through the company and as a retained firefighter, Mr Porter had recently undergone a refresher course in CPR.

Describing the moment that he rushed to save Mr Barningham’s life, Mr Porter said: “We were going at speed but we saw a couple of ladies and a man who were with this guy on the floor and starting to give CPR. Mark took over from the guy because he wasn’t going quickly enough. He wasn’t breathing, there were no signs of life.”

After a short while, Mr Porter, of Reeth, took over from Mr Jones to continue the CPR and finally Mr Barningham began breathing again.

The pair were also joined in their efforts by Mr Davison, of Northumberland, who was passing at the time.

Mr Jones, of Bedale, said: “It was quite surreal, we just got on with doing it and I don’t think we really thought about it at the time.”

Afterwards the men duly got back on their bicycles and carried on the rest of their bike ride.

It was only later when Ms Stores Mallen posted an appeal on Facebook that the men discovered Mr Barningham had been in a critical condition for 24 hours.

Ms Stores Mallen said that when her uncle is well enough she would like to arrange a meet up with his life-savers so that he can thank them in person.

She joked: “I told him he’ll have to buy them a pint, but he’s a bit cheeky and said they should buy him one.”