Awards nominee: Dorset
Brave cops save woman from the sea
Police were alerted to a fully clothed woman wading into the sea. Members of the public had reported that she was moving further out into the water, which acts as a route for small vessels and ferries into Poole Harbour. Safety buoys were in place to warn swimmers of the potential danger of swimming there.
Sgt Craig Tatton was first on the scene, with another officer close behind. HM Coastguard and the RNLI had been contacted, but it was unclear when they would arrive. The officers tried to encourage the woman to come back to the shore, but she refused. By now the woman was 100 metres out and was wading into increasingly deeper water. The light was beginning to fade, and it was becoming more and more difficult to see her. When she was around 200 metres from the shore and heading towards the shipping channel, the officers knew they had to intervene.
Both officers removed their kit and went into the sea together. It was physically demanding to wade out towards her and as the water level rose all of them were in danger. By the time the officers reached the woman they were neck-deep in water. They tried to persuade her to go back to the shore, but she was drunk and emotional. They eventually took hold of her, pulling her towards them and guiding her back towards the shore. Once back on land, she was treated by paramedics and taken to hospital.