24 September 2020
Two Cumbria Police officers who plunged into the sea risking their safety to rescue a pair of stranded youngsters have been nominated for The National Police Bravery Awards.
PC Colin Dunne, from Workington Division, and PC Alun Masters, from Kendal Division, responded to calls that children had been seen clinging to the rocks near the disused Maryport Lighthouse.
They had clung to the rocks because the water was so choppy and it was clear there were in real distress.
The incident happened in July 2018, and despite it being a summer’s day, the water was beginning to get freezing cold when the officers arrived.
A lifeline was thrown out to the two 12-year-old girls, but they refused to take it as they were terrified of slipping off the rocks and back into the rough sea below them.
The officers knew they had to act fast to prevent a potentially tragic incident and with other emergency services still on their way, they decided to dive into the water to try and get the girls to safety.
The distraught girls took some persuading to get off the rocks, but the officers managed to eventually swim with them back to shore.
Despite being in the water for some time, the girls only suffered minor hyperthermia and were treated by waiting ambulance crews.
Cumbria Police Federation Chairman Paul Williams said the Federation was very proud of what the officers did that day.
“Police officers are much more than crime fighters and this incident once again showed our Bobbies at their best. Colin and Alun showed real fast thinking and in the best traditions of Cumbria Police put their safety at risk to rescue these girls,” he said.
“The youngsters were terrified, and the officers had to show great bravery and determination to get them down off those rocks and to safety. They prevented a potentially tragic incident. We are very proud of them.”
The National Police Bravery Awards honour officers from across England and Wales who have performed outstanding acts of bravery while on or off duty.
As nominees, PC Colin Dunne and PC Alun Masters will attend a prestigious daytime reception and evening awards ceremony in London in July 2021. The 2020 event – the 25th National Police Bravery Awards - had been scheduled to take place this past summer but had to be cancelled due to Coronavirus.
Nevertheless the Police Federation of England and Wales wanted to take the opportunity to highlight the fantastic work of all 94 nominees from across the country online from today (September 24).
John Apter, National Chair of the Police Federation of England and Wales, said: “We are incredibly proud of all the nominees from across England and Wales. The actions of these courageous officers provide a small snapshot of the amazing work our colleagues carry out day in and day out.
“What heroes PC Colin Dunne and PC Alun Masters are. You never know what you are going to encounter when you are a police officer. What the call will be. You just have to be ready to react and do your best. That’s what this fantastic pair did. And then some.
“As a Police Federation, we wanted to make sure these brave officers received the recognition they deserve in the year their actions were meant to be celebrated. And we look forward to seeing them all in person – and revealing regional and national winners - when the time is right in 2021.”
The National Police Bravery Awards are sponsored by Police Mutual.
John Perks, Chief Executive Officer of Police Mutual, said: “Police Mutual is, as always, proud to be supporting the National Police Bravery Awards in its 25th anniversary year. Despite having to postpone the original ceremony, the officers’ courage has never been forgotten – they all showed commitment to keeping the public safe in the most demanding of circumstances.
“We very much look forward to meeting all the nominated officers in July 2021 for the ceremony, and our chance to give our thanks in person.”