Rugby league star restrains disruptive passenger on flight to Mexico

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Former Halifax rugby league star Luke Ambler was the hero of the hour during a mid-air drama aboard a transatlantic holiday flight.

The former player, 27, was flying from Manchester to the Mexican resort of Cancun when a passenger became disruptive and had to be restrained by the crew.

He said: “During our flight to Mexico we had to make an emergency landing to Quebec in Canada as a passenger was kicking off big time.

“Having worked in prisons the last six months and in general knowing a variety of methods to help calm people down, I offered my assistance to the flight staff who were doing an amazing job, but seemed very frustrated and flustered.

“The situation was aggressive and getting on the route to violence so fair play to the flight staff for their work.

“In the end I was asked along with a retired policeman to help with the situation and then to sit next to the couple for the emergency landing and then escort them from the aircraft to the Canadian police when landing.

“Main thing is we are here safe and sound. Bring on the sun.”

The plane was diverted to Québec where the woman, named by Canadian police Sûreté du Québec as Bridget Hanley, was arrested.

The woman, 34, appeared at Québec Superior court on Monday.

A police spokesman said she was “under the influence alcohol” and involved in an “altercation” but no one was injured.” Sergeant Daniel Thibaudeau of Sûreté du Québec told the Courier: “Bridget Hanley admitted to the charges on Tuesday and will immediately serve the 20 day sentence in a provincial detention facility located in the Québec City area. She is a resident of Manchester.”

It is understood the disturbance cost the airline, TUI, thousands and it is considering a civil case.

The firm had not yet responded to the Courier’s request for comment.

Mr Ambler, who left Halifax RLFC earlier this year, is the founder of mental health project Andy’s Man Club.

It is named after his brother-in-law, Andy Roberts, who took his own life at the age of 23 and aims to reduce sucide rates.