Police Federation



Five officers have been nominated for the National Police Bravery Awards 2023 after jumping into a river to do everything they could to save a woman who had sadly tried to take their own life.

On 21 July last year at around 9pm, police received a call from a distressed male stating their mother had just ended their life.

Her body was now in the river, and upon officers’ arrival, they were confronted with a difficult situation as they were met with a high wall with a 10-foot drop on the other side of it into the river once they made their way through the grassland.

PC Sam Stinchon and PC Taylor Gregson were first on scene, and they discovered a male in the river holding the victim above the water.

Without any thought for themselves and concentrating solely on helping the female, PCs Stinchon and Gregson climbed over the wall and jumped into the river, wading over immediately to the male and moved the female across to the other side of the river where it was much shallower, and the victim could be laid above the water for them to commence CPR as she was unresponsive and not breathing.

PCs Katherine Maxwell and Mike McMahon arrived on scene shortly after and both went over the wall into the river, bringing extensive first aid equipment carried by the armed response officers. Both PC Maxwell and PC McMahon assisted with providing first aid and CPR to the victim.

PC Vanessa Fowler then arrived on scene and entered the water further assisting in the administration of CPR before other emergency service workers arrived to support the rescue efforts.

After performing CPR for 13 minutes, her pulse was obtained, however, she was not breathing at this time.

A multi-agency approach and plan was established on how she was going to be taken out of the river in the safest manner as it was inaccessible due to the 10-foot wall either side.

The Fire and Rescue Service mobilised an aerial platform which was lowered into the river where she was transferred to a stretcher and placed onto the aerial platform. The platform was then raised back over the road where she was transferred to a stretcher and into the waiting ambulance where she was transported to hospital.

She was in a medically induced coma in Royal Blackburn Hospital for 10 days for assessments. Sadly, she passed away in hospital several days later, but was given every chance to survive thanks to the phenomenal effort, courage, bravery, and professionalism shown by all the officers.

Rachel Hanley, Chair of Lancashire Police Federation, said: “These officers showed immense courage and bravery by entering the water. We all are rightly proud of them; they represent the very best of Lancashire Constabulary.”

Lancashire Constabulary Chief Constable Chris Rowley said: “These officers showed extreme bravery in very challenging circumstances. They have put themselves at risk to try and save the life of another person and have shown the true spirit of public service and the utmost professionalism. They should be extremely proud of their actions.” 

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