16/05/2017

Two PCSOs Awarded Commendations after Helping to Save a Man’s Life

Two Police Community Support Officers (PSCOs) have been awarded Chief Officer’s Commendation Awards after their involvement in helping to save a vulnerable man’s life.

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PCSOs Mark Say and Ian Heslop were on duty on Monday 28th November when a report was received of a missing 87-year-old vulnerable man. It was suggested he might make his way to Hartlepool Marina and both PCSOs started to make their way to the Marina using separate routes in an attempt to locate the man on the way there.

PSCO Heslop gathered further details from the man’s family in order to help with the search, whilst PSCO Say made his way towards the Yacht Club.

PCSO Say heard shouting from the Coast Watch office above the club that there was someone in the water and he immediately ran down the pier and relayed this message to the control room.

As he got closer he could see the elderly man in the water and radioed for assistance from the coastguard whilst persuading the man to swim towards the pier.

PCSO Say quickly realised that he might have to go into the water to help the man so he took off his hat, jacket and boots and emptied his pockets whilst still encouraging the man to swim back to the pier.

PSCO Heslop made his way to the Yacht Club and arrived on the pier. The man had managed to swim closer to the pier but not to an accessible point. PCSO Say climbed down one of the ladders ready to go into the freezing water to help him.

The man’s distressed family attended the scene and PCSO Heslop comforted them whilst both officers continued to encourage the man to keep swimming.

The man was paddling and floating on his back and beginning to get tired. PCSO Say stayed on the ladder and continued to offer encouragement to the man.

The coastguard and the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) had now turned up to assist with getting the man out of the water and took him safely to shore in the lifeboat.

PCSO Say and PCSO Heslop were awarded a Chief Constable’s commendation for demonstrating selflessness and accountability in their quick-thinking in order to assist in saving a man who could have drowned if it were not for their prompt actions.