TWO friends have defended themselves after being accused of wasting public resources when they fell 20 feet from a rope swing.

Josh Davidson, aged 19, and Kai Belk, aged 20, both broke their backs when the swing they were playing on snapped.

Mr Belk’s back is broken in two places and he has to wear a back brace for the next three or four months.

Mr Davidson, a warfare specialist in the Royal Navy, said he was told he will be in pain for a while but should heal in the next few weeks.

The pair were taken from Moses Gate Country Park, Farnworth to Salford Royal Hospital after falling on Monday evening.

Following a report about the incident in The Bolton News, readers criticised the pair for wasting public money.

But Mr Davidson, of Clifton Street, Kearsley, said: “We were having a laugh, taking it in turns on the swing and Kai said ‘let’s both get on it.

“We jumped down, swung out and came back and kicked off the ground again.

“We got about 20ft up and it just snapped and we both fell.

“I slightly landed on top of him. I got straight up but he couldn’t stand and I dragged him to the side.

“We have been going there since we were kids and I’ve been going on that swing since I was six. It’s been there for years. “

The pair landed on some rocks in about a foot of water in the park.

Mr Davidson ran to a nearby house to call the emergency services after his phone battery died and when paramedics arrived he helped them carry equipment to the scene.

He said: “When they were helping Kai my adrenalin started to go and I was getting more and more pain in my back so they put me on a stretcher.”

At the hospital both men were told their had broken backs.

Mr Davidson said: “We were just having some innocent fun and people are assuming we’re chavs messing about but we’re not.

“We never expected all those people from the emergency services to show up but that’s their procedure and at the end of the day his back was broken.”