Brave police officers commended for Weston sea rescue
By Carol_Deacon | Wednesday, January 23, 2013, 10:11
Police officers who waded into the sea at Weston-super-Mare to save a couple having difficulties have been awarded for their bravery.
From left Ellen Moore (RLSS), SC Tom Kettleborough, C Supt Moss, TI Nigel Prideaux
Police constable Darren Bond and special constable Thomas Kettleborough, have received commendations from the Royal Life Saving Society for their actions on Carnival Night in November.
Temporary inspector Nigel Prideaux has received a certificate of recognition.
Just after midnight on November 10 last year police received a call from a man to say that his girlfriend had walked into the sea near the Grand Pier.
When officers reached the beach, they could hear a man and woman's voice coming from the water.
PC Darren Bond who was first on the scene said: "I was the nearest officer so ran down to the beach and saw two figures about 100 metres out to sea.
"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."
PC Bond prevented the woman from getting further out into the water, until his colleagues SC Thomas Kettleborough along with TI Nigel Prideaux arrived at the scene and helped to drag the woman back to shore.
The woman continued to struggle until they reached the shallows, where other officers helped to restrain her.
She was taken to Weston General Hospital from where she was later released.
SC Tom Kettleborough said: "I train kids in lifesaving every week and decided that even with the risks, the rescue could be carried out."
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 that any other police officer would have done, I just happened to get there first."
TI Nigel Prideaux said: "Thankfully, these types of incidents are rare.
"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."
The Royal Lifesaving Society saw fit to recognise the officers' bravery and described their actions as 'exemplary as the founding ideals of the society and worthy of commendation.'
The awards were presented to the officers by chief superintendent Julian Moss on Tuesday, January 22.