Police officers commended for saving drowning woman in sea

Sergeant Will Bowen (left) and pc Andy Perry (right) have been recognised for saving a woman from drowning in the sea Clacton

Sergeant Will Bowen (left) and pc Andy Perry (right) have been recognised for saving a woman from drowning in the sea near Clacton - Credit: Essex Police

Two police officers have been commended for putting their own lives at risk to save a drowning woman off the coast of Clacton. 

Sergeant Will Bowen and Pc Andy Perry responded to reports of a woman and a man in difficulty off the coast of Clacton on the night of December 28, 2020. 

Without hesitation and with disregard for their own personal safety, the officers ventured out into the rough, icy water with only their torches to light the way in their search.

While Sgt Bowen successfully located the woman, Pc Perry was searching for the man.

However, it transpired that, despite the report, there was only one person in the water so, once Pc Perry had realised this, he went back into the water to assist his colleague in rescuing the woman.

Once they had got her to the safety of the shore, both officers delivered first aid and ensured she was kept warm and alert until paramedics arrived.   

Speaking about the rescue Sgt Bowen said: "As it was late at night during the winter, the main thing going through my head was just how cold it was.

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“Once I was in the water, I called out to the woman but struggled to catch my breath because of the cold.

"I could see she was no longer moving but I managed to pick her up and knew we would need to commence CPR as soon as we got her to safer ground.

 “We didn’t think about our own safety. We were aware other units and an ambulance were on route but our priority was getting the woman out of the water and then getting her dry and warm."

He added that they originally used a throwing line to rescue the woman but given she was around 20ft out she was unable to grab it. 

Commending the pair Chief Constable Ben-Julian Harrington said: "I ask officers to help people and keep them safe and the officers I have commended have done exactly that.

“They, quite literally, jumped in to save lives in some extremely tough and demanding conditions.

“How many people going home from work can say ‘I saved someone’s life’?”

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