A response officer used all his experience swimming for the Nottinghamshire County Swim Squad to save a 12-year-old girl from drowning in the River Trent.
PC Nicholas Lewis has been praised for his brave actions after he dived into the water to save her as she struggled to stay afloat.
PC Lewis didn’t hesitate for a second when he saw her and immediately jumped in to save her life.
It was reported that a girl had left her home following a family fall-out at around 7pm on Saturday and officers spotted her close to the County Hall, near to the Victoria Embankment.
The girl ran from police despite their best attempts to stop her and she went into the river.
PC Lewis went straight in after her. He managed to grab hold of her and, using his life-saving training, got her back to the bank to safety. He was supported by his colleague PS Declan Bourne who was able to direct him to the submerged girl.
The West Bridgford officer, who has swam competitively in open water races, said: “I spotted her going down the steps at the Embankment and I was really shocked to see her leap into the water. I wasn’t quite expecting that, but I only had seconds to think and go in after her.
“The current had already taken her about 20 metres away from the sides and she was quickly heading downstream towards Trent Bridge.
“She was wearing really heavy clothing, like a woollen poncho, so she was incredibly heavy to lift up on top of me and pull out.
“At one point her head was close to being fully submerged, but thankfully I was able to get to her in the nick of time.
“Thankfully I’ve swam most of my life and I was actually part of the county’s swimming squad when I was younger. I think that massively helped as I’m quite a strong swimmer and had a lot of time in the water over the years.
“I feel proud, but it’s all part of the job. I know all my colleagues would have done the same. I’m just grateful we were able to save her.”
The girl thankfully wasn’t injured following the incident and was reunited with her mother at hospital that evening.
Inspector Paul Molloy praised the officers outstanding work to save the girl’s life.
He said: “PC Lewis has showed incredibly bravery to dive straight into the water without any hesitation, supported by colleagues including PS Bourne who was able to command and control the incident from the riverbank.
“The officer put himself in danger to save her life and will no doubt be awarded a commendation for his actions, which will be truly deserved. It’s well known that the River Trent has a strong current and there have been a number of fatalities when people enter the water.
“It was a chaotic scene by the river, but both response officers remained so calm and were there when the girl needed them most.
“Thanks to PC Lewis’ selfless work, and the help of other officers, the girl is alive and receiving the support she needs.
“The officers involved should feel very proud of their work that evening.”