Young fishermen raised the alarm when they spotted a man in a canal in the early hours of the morning.
The emergency services were called to the Leeds-Liverpool Canal at Leigh Bridge, off St Helens Road, Leigh, shortly after 1am today.
Without their intervention, he would probably not have been here nowMatt Keogh, from Leigh fire station
Two youths going fishing had seen the man in the water and called for help.
Firefighters, paramedics and police officers attended and rescued the 48-year-old man from the canal.
He was conscious and breathing and checked by paramedics, before being taken to hospital.
It was not known why the man was in the water.
Matt Keogh, watch manager at Leigh fire station, praised the youths, saying: “Without their intervention, he would probably not have been here now.”
It was Mr Keogh’s final call-out after 27 years as a firefighter.