AN 81-year-old cyclist was rescued from a canal by an MSP who pulled him out of the water.

Bill Watson was cycling home from Bowling, alongside the Forth and Clyde Canal near Knightswood when he ended up in the water. He managed to keep himself above the waterline and gripped on to something on the wall of the bank – but was unable to reach up to get out of the canal.

He was rescued by Ivan McKee, Glasgow Provan, SNP MSP, who rushed to his aid when he heard his cry for help while out running.

Mr Watson said: “I was approaching the bridge over the canal and I was looking out for any fast bikes coming in the opposite direction.

“I realised I was over too far to one side and I couldn’t get back over and then I ended up in the water. Everything was heavy and I was up to my neck in water.”

Mr Watson, who is an an experienced cyclist of more than 50 years, said he was shouting for help.

He added: “Then I could see a yellow figure approaching. The look on his face when he saw me in the water was something. He got me out the water. I don’t know how much longer I could have held on there for without being pulled under.”

Two girls passed and they phoned for an ambulance while Mr McKee stayed with Mr Watson.

He was taken to the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital and treated for hypothermia. The retired factory worker makes the trip on his bike from North Kelvinside at least once a month and said he hoped to be back on the bike soon.

Mr McKee, who uses the canal towpath regularly for running said he will be speaking to Scottish Canals and Transport Minister Humza Yousaf to look at whether safety could be improved following the incident.

He said: “I think there are certain spots where extra barriers could help.”