A Nottinghamshire Police officer has been nominated for a National Police Bravery Award for saving a vulnerable woman from drowning.
PC Kevin Parsons responded to a report of a distressed woman in the Bleak Hills Lane area of Mansfield who was wet through.
He went to the grounds of a house where the woman had been seen. He found and approached her but she ran into a nearby wood.
He then heard a large splash and believed the woman had ran into one of the large ponds. As PC Parsons approached he saw her swimming across one of the ponds, clearly exhausted and struggling to swim. She was also shouting out in distress.
Without hesitation PC Parsons entered the water with no lifesaving equipment and swam to the woman, who was extremely distressed, thrashing her arms around and making it incredibly difficult for PC Parsons to help her.
Several times she pushed PC Parsons under the dirty water, causing him to fear for his own life.
It was getting dark with no artificial light present, making it difficult to see what was happening.
With difficulty PC Parsons managed to pull the woman to a jetty at the edge of the water, keeping her head above water until help arrived to pull her out.
A member of the public and PCSO Catherine Darby pulled the woman out of the water and provided first aid. PC Michael Colley continued to provide first aid until paramedics arrived.
The woman was taken to hospital, where she remained for two days due to hypothermia.
PC Parsons attended the King’s Mill Hospital due to swallowing water and being hypothermic and was given antibiotics as a precaution.
The incident happened at about 5.40pm on 17 September 2017.
PC Parsons, who has served with Nottinghamshire Police for 15 years including about eight in the Mansfield area, was back at work the next day having thankfully suffered no side effects.
He said: “I’m very proud and honoured to be nominated for this prestigious award, it was a wonderful surprise when I found out.
“I acted instinctively and did what most people would do when faced with someone who was in trouble.
“In normal situations we use throwing lines but in this instance that wasn’t possible as the vehicle was parked a quarter-of-a-mile away.
“It was only afterwards I realised how deep the water was! I was hoping to wade out when I first went in, however due to being short found myself soon out of my depth. Luckily with the help of my fabulous colleagues who were present and help from the public, all ended well.
“I work within an amazing team of people who are all doing courageous and brave things on a daily basis and they often do this without being noticed so I would like to accept this award nomination, not just for myself but for all the people that work within Nottinghamshire Police.”
Inspector Nick Butler, Neighbourhood Policing Inspector for the Mansfield District, said: “PC Parsons showed extreme bravery in a very dangerous situation. He never thought twice about entering the water and saving the woman’s life.
“I’d also like to commend our other quick-thinking officers and the member of the public who provided assistance and first aid at the scene until paramedics arrived.
“These kinds of courageous acts are taking place on a regular basis throughout the Police Service but often they go unnoticed. For me it’s important that PC Parsons’ actions are recognised as we’re all incredibly proud of what he did. I’d like to thank him as well as other brave officers for what they do every day.
“I’m very proud to be part of an organisation which has officers of this calibre in its ranks, working to keep the public safe from harm without thought for themselves.”
Mick Taylor, Secretary of the Nottinghamshire Police Federation, added: “The situation was extremely stressful and potentially dangerous for those present, but despite this PC Parsons showed incredible bravery and put the needs and safety of others before himself.
“The quick thinking actions of the other officers and the member of the public who helped at the scene were also of the highest standards and ultimately helped to save the woman’s life.”
The National Police Bravery Awards ceremony will take place in London on Thursday (12 July 2018).