Police Federation

West Mercia

Murphy, Baker & Simmonds

A courageous and quick-thinking trio who formed a human chain to rescue a woman from her car which was beginning to sink to the bottom of a river have been nominated for the national Police Bravery Awards 2024.

In April 2023, a woman was rescued from her Mini in Worcestershire after it ended up in a flooded ford between Pershore and Drakes Broughton.

Following a 999 call reporting her predicament, PS Shannon Murphy, PS Lee Baker and PC Thomas Simmonds, and three other officers from West Mercia Police, swiftly responded.

Arriving on scene, the car was almost completely submerged and about 10 metres downstream due to heavy rainfall causing flash flooding. Thinking on their feet, the officers skilfully formed a human chain and waded in to offer reassurance and maintain her calm demeanour.

Despite the car's electrics being disabled by the water, the officers broke open the driver's side window and pulled her to safety, just moments before the vehicle sank.

Assessed at the scene by the West Midlands Ambulance Service, the woman remarkably did not require treatment and fully recovered.

Without the officers' decisive intervention and prompt, courageous actions, her life would have been in danger.

West Mercia Police Federation Chair Steve Butler has paid tribute to the ‘impeccable’ teamwork on display during the incident.

He said: “I am immensely proud of the work of our officers here. The way they waded into such dangerous water to not only help the woman, but each other too, showed remarkable commitment and bravery.

"It may have happened nearly a year ago but it’s still being spoken about now, and I think that’s completely justified. Tom, Lee and Shannon fully deserve their nominations."

West Mercia Police Temporary Chief Constable Alex Murray commented: “The driver found herself in difficulty in the ford and we’re really pleased officers were able to act so swiftly and rescue her before the vehicle sank too far under the water. She wasn’t injured during the incident."

He said the incident was "a stark reminder of how dangerous the water can be”.

“I am really proud of the work of our team, they all responded quickly and instinctively working together as a team to rescue the lady."

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