Police officers commended for beach rescue

PUBLISHED: 08:56 23 January 2013 | UPDATED: 09:10 23 January 2013

(L-R) Ellen Moore of the Royal Life Saving Society, SC Tom Kettleborough, Chief Supt Julian Moss and TI Nigel Prideaux

(L-R) Ellen Moore of the Royal Life Saving Society, SC Tom Kettleborough, Chief Supt Julian Moss and TI Nigel Prideaux

Zoe Almond

THREE police officers have been commended for rescuing a woman from the near-freezing sea on Weston beach.

PC Darren Bond, Special Constable Thomas Kettleborough and Temporary Inspector Nigel Prideaux have been handed awards by the Royal Life Saving Society after wading into the sea to help the woman and her partner on carnival night last year.

Police received a call just after midnight on November 10 from a man who said his girlfriend had walked into the waters near the Grand Pier, and on their arrival officers could hear the couple’s voices about 100 metres out to sea.

PC Bond said: “It was dark, but they were illuminated from the lights on the pier. I heard shouting and screaming so requested the coastguard but I knew the tide comes in quickly, so I grabbed a life ring and waded out to the couple.

“The water was about chest deep. The woman had been drinking and didn’t want to come back to shore.”

He prevented the woman from venturing further out to sea, and SC Kettleborough and TI Prideaux arrived to help drag her back to shore.

Although she continued to struggle until they reached the shallows, the woman was eventually restrained. She was taken to Weston General Hospital and was later released.

PC Bond added: “I guess I didn’t really think about it at the time, I just knew I had to do something. It was no more than any other police officer would have done, I just happened to get there first.”

SC Kettleborough said: “I train kids in life-saving every week and decided that, even with the risks, the rescue could be carried out.”

PC Bond and SC Kettleborough received commendations from the Royal Life Saving Society, while TI Prideaux was given a certificate of recognition.

They were handed their awards by Chief Superintendent Julian Moss on Tuesday.

TI Prideaux added: “We just happened to be the first officers to arrive at the scene, but many others would have done exactly the same. We take calculated risks as part and parcel of the job we do, but it’s nice to receive recognition for it.”

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