A trio of Hartlepool police officers who braved the icy waters of the North Sea to save a woman’s life are to be commended with a national honour.
Sergeant Paul Johnson and Pc John Dixon and Pc David Ridgeway are in line for a Royal Humane Society Certificate of Commendation.
The national honour will be presented to the group for their selfless and life-saving action on the night of February 9.
The trio had been on duty at a football match when they were called away to a woman attempting to drown herself in the sea near Trident Close at the town’s Maritime Avenue.
After a search of the area they found the woman waist deep in the water. Calls for her to return to safety were ignored.
The trio were left no option but to grab a life ring, tie a rope around it and wade into the water to rescue the woman who had this point had lost consciousness and was neck deep into the water.
“They richly deserve the awards they are to receive.”Dick Wilkinson
The woman was eventually rescued and treated for hypothermia.
In addition to the Royal Humane Society Certificates of Commendation, they have also won the personal praise of Royal Humane Society Secretary, Dick Wilkinson.
He said: “This was certainly a shift which ended differently to anything these three officers could have expected.
“Thankfully the sea was not rough but it was dark and they were in it more or less up to their necks in the end. The water was also bitterly cold. But they persevered.
“If they had not then there is virtually no doubt this woman would have drowned. She was already unconscious when they pulled her back to the beach and out of the water. They richly deserve the awards they are to receive. They saved a life.”
As yet, No date has been set for the presentation of the awards which have been made following a recommendation from Cleveland Police.
The Royal Humane Society stretch back more than two centuries. It was founded in 1774 by medical men, William Hawes and Thomas Cogan. Their primary motive was to promote techniques of resuscitation.
The Society also awards non health care professionals who perform a successful resuscitation.
Since it was set up the Society has considered over 86,000 cases and made over 200,000 awards. Anyone can nominate a person for an award.
The Society is a registered charity which receives no public funding and is dependent on voluntary donations.