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Award joy for constable

PUBLISHED: 12:03 18 December 2008 | UPDATED: 12:34 03 July 2010

A GORLESTON police officer who jumped into the chilly waters of the River Yare to rescue a woman from drowning has received one of the country's major life-saving honours.

A GORLESTON police officer who jumped into the chilly waters of the River Yare to rescue a woman from drowning has received one of the country's major life-saving honours.

PC Mark Grimmer battled against the treacherous tidal current to rescue a 41-year-old woman on a bitterly cold night last winter.

His actions helped to saved her life and prompted Sgt Lewis Craske to nominate PC Grimmer for the Royal Humane Society bravery award, which he received last Thursday.

Dick Wilkinson, secretary of the society, said PC Grimmer richly deserved the honour.

“But for his efforts this woman could well be dead today. And, in taking the action he did, he put his own life on the line,” said Mr Wilkinson.

Both PC Grimmer and the woman ended up being treated for hypothermia after the drama, which unfolded just after seven o'clock on a cold February evening.

Police had received reports of a woman sitting close to the river's edge in Gorleston, close to the King William

pub.

PC Grimmer was first to arrive at the scene and saw her on the wall with her legs dangling over the edge.

He removed his rig belt and body armour ready to put on a lifejacket.

And, despite a fellow officer's attempts to persuade the woman to move to safety, she pushed herself off the wall, falling eight feet into the water.

PC Grimmer made several attempts to throw a life-saving ring to the woman, but she told police she “just wanted to die”.

Taking his life into his own hands, PC Grimmer jumped into the water, swam towards the woman and grabbed

her.

Then he held her head above the water until a crew from Yarmouth and Gorleston lifeboat arrived.

At the time, PC Grimmer said: “I acted on instinct

and just did what was necessary.”

Insp Paul McCarthy, the senior officer at the rescue, said: “He was willing to put his own safety at risk to help this woman.

“I'm extremely proud of his efforts.”

It is not the first award PC Grimmer has received. Five years ago he was awarded the Queen's Commendation for Bravery after he tackled

an armed gunman at Bradwell.


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