Heroic officer jumps into water and saves teenager from drowning
PUBLISHED: 17:41 16 June 2020 | UPDATED: 18:00 16 June 2020
Picture: ESSEX POLICE
A Colchester police officer has been praised for his “heroic actions” after he jumped into water in Castle Park to save a teenager from drowning.
PC Lewis Aleta was on patrol with a colleague on Monday, June 15 when he saw a group of girls and boys jumping into the water at Middle Mill.
One of the boys got into trouble and his friends tried to help him, but PC Aleta, aged 29, chose to jump in after seeing a boy and a girl go under the water.
He said: “I heard the splashing and shouting, and I thought are they messing about or is it serious?
“When I saw a girl and boy go under, I jumped in.”
PC Aleta, who has been a member of the Town Team since July last year, said the boy was shaken but after a few minutes catching his breath he was okay.
“I knew the water was deep but even I was surprised how deep it was because when I jumped in, I couldn’t touch the bottom,” added the officer.
PC Aleta has been an Essex Police officer for three years, having spent a year as a Special Constable.
Before joining the force, he was a chef and had worked in London restaurants and hotels.
“I have never had to jump into water before to help someone, it’s not something I’ve ever had to do before,” explained PC Aleta.
Fortunately, the boy didn’t need any medical help following the incident, which happened at about 4.30pm yesterday afternoon.
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Colchester district commander Chief Inspector Rob Huddleston, said: “Lewis acted in the true tradition of policing, putting others before himself. His quick thinking and brave actions undoubtedly saved this young man’s life.
“As police officers in the community we are here to help anyone and will always do our best to keep you safe.”
Councillor Mike Lilley, added: “If it wasn’t for the heroic actions of the police officer, we might now be dealing with a death at Middle Mill.
“We are looking urgently at what more can be done to prevent people entering the water at this spot, but in the meantime, I would advise people not to swim or paddle there.
“Apart from the obvious hazard of swimming close to a weir, rivers and open water seldom get warm in this country, even during a summer heat wave.
“And objects under the water, which may be unseen from the riverbank, can trap or injure swimmers. There are also potential health risks from swimming in lakes and rivers, such as Weil’s disease.
“Please be sensible and do not risk your own safety or the safety of others by trying to swim or paddle at Middle Mill.”
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