National honour for Norfolk police heroes who helped save man from drowning in Great Yarmouth

The seafront in Great Yarmouth. Picture: James Bass

The seafront in Great Yarmouth. Picture: James Bass - Credit: James Bass

Six brave police officers who risked their own lives to help save a man from drowning at Great Yarmouth are to be awarded top national life-saving honours.

A man ran into the sea close to the Marina Centre in Yarmouth on an 'atrocious' night when a combination of heavy rain, high winds and fading light would make any rescue attempt extra difficult.

Emergency services, including police, were called following concerns for the man's safety and arrived to find him already up to his waist in the water with members of his family on the beach trying to persuade him to come back to safety.

The man had threatened to drown himself at once if anyone approached him at which stage his brother ran into the sea to try and get him back to the shore.

But fearing for the safety of both men the six police officers, who were all wearing body armour, went into the water as well in a bid to rescue the pair.

They managed to reach the man before he carried out his threat to drown himself and, although he was struggling violently, dragged him back to the shore and restrained him until an ambulance arrived to take him to hospital where he was treated for hypothermia.

Following the incident, on July 24 last year, the officers, PCs Mark Askew, Dan Brown, Ben Chard, Karen Cook, Pete Richeda and Sergeant Andy Brown have all been awarded Royal Humane Society Certificates of Commendation.

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Stephen Bett, Norfolk's police and crime commissioner, has today hailed the officers involved in the rescue and said he was 'proud' of what they had done.

He said: 'The awards are well deserved and shows what police have to do every day.

'I'm proud of the officers for what they've done. They've acted without any regard for their own safety and went to help this guy.

'They deserve all the praise they're going to get.'

No date has yet been fixed for presentation of the awards which have been made on the recommendation of Norfolk police.

Dick Wilkinson, secretary of the Royal Humane Society, said: 'They richly deserve the awards they are to receive.'

Has your life been saved by police officers? Email peter.walsh@archant.co.uk

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