Cumbria Police Federation

Two Cumbria Police officers nominated for the 2021 National Bravery Awards

3 November 2021

Two Cumbria Police officers who courageously saved a woman from a fast-flowing river have been nominated for The National Police Bravery Awards.

Sgt Dave McGinn and PC Dave White were called to the River Eden in Carlisle in March 2020.

There, they found a woman who was threatening to kill herself. The woman then went into the dangerously swollen, fast-flowing river.

Officers tried to rescue the woman using buoyancy equipment, but she let go of the branch she was holding onto - and the current carried her down the river.

Things were escalating rapidly.

Sgt McGinn and PC White tried to communicate with the woman but she had lost consciousness, so the officers made the swift decision to enter the river and managed to grab hold of the woman and pull her towards the river bank.

With assistance from their colleagues, they extracted the unconscious woman from the river, where first aid was administered.

Cumbria Police Federation Chair Paul Williams said: “Officers never know what will happen when they start their shifts. But what they do know is that they are much more than crime fighters and this incident once again displays this.

“It was a dynamic and fast moving incident and yet both our courageous colleagues remained calm and measured and through their actions, achieved the best possible outcome.

“I commend both Dave and Dave for their brave actions. They are very deserving of their nomination.”

Inspector Kim Brown also praised the officers for their “decisive actions”. She said: “They provided guidance and leadership to younger-in-service officers at the scene, who probably felt unsure and scared about how to deal with this incident. The action they took saved hours of meticulous searching, and agony for this woman’s family."

As well as being nominated for The National Bravery Awards, both officers have been awarded a Chief Constable’s Bravery Commendation.

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, Sgt McGinn and PC White will attend an Awards Ceremony in London on 9 December 2021. 

The National Police Bravery Awards are sponsored by Police Mutual.