Two police officers who saved man's life during Storm Ciara in Preston nominated for bravery award

Two Lancashire Police officers who saved a man from drowning during Storm Ciara have been nominated for The National Police Bravery Awards.

Sunday, 7th November 2021, 10:27 am
Updated Sunday, 7th November 2021, 10:28 am
Two Lancashire Police officers who saved a man from drowning during a storm have been nominated for The National Police Bravery Awards

PC Chris Bryce and PC Jamie Milburn were called after a man was spotted in the River Ribble, Preston during Storm Ciara in February 2020.

The man, who had entered the water with the intention of harming himself, was being kept afloat by two men who were pleading for help.

Without any hesitation, the two officers headed down the embankment and into the water, where they ended up shoulder-deep trying to save the man.

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The two other men managed to get themselves out of the water, where they were assisted by other emergency services personnel.

PC Bryce and PC Milburn remained in the water with the victim, keeping him afloat while trying to get him back towards the embankment.

Their task was not made easy by the man who "fought and resisted the officers' attempts to save him".

The officers persevered and their determination paid off, as they were eventually able to get the man back to the embankment and out of the water.

Lancashire Police Federation Chair Rachel Hanley said: "Police officers put their lives on the line every single day, and colleagues and the public of Lancashire will quite rightly be proud of these officers.

"It is difficult to imagine the challenge Chris and Jamie faced that day. Trying to save someone in a river in torrential weather conditions who - sadly - didn't want to be saved. But they managed it with tremendous courage.

"Chris and Jamie represent the very best of Lancashire Constabulary and they are very worthy nominees for The National Police Bravery Awards."

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As well as being nominated for The National Bravery Awards, both officers have been awarded a Liverpool Shipwreck and Humane Society Award and the William Garnett Cup.

The William Garnett Cup is awarded annually to the Lancashire Police officer or officers who perform the most gallant deed of the year, in the highest traditions of the service.

Lancashire's then Chief Constable, Andy Rhodes, said: "I feel extremely proud as Chief Constable that our frontline officers and staff put themselves into dangerous situations in order to protect others.

"The actions of PC Bryce and PC Milburn undoubtedly saved the man's life and I am truly delighted that we are able to give our staff the recognition they deserve."

The National Police Bravery Awards honour officers from across England and Wales who have performed outstanding acts of bravery while on or off duty.

As nominees, PC Bryce and PC Milburn will attend an awards ceremony in London on December 9, 2021.

The National Police Bravery Awards are sponsored by Police Mutual.

Storm Ciara

Storm Ciara - the third named storm of the 2019/2020 season - swept across the whole of the UK on Sunday 9, bringing heavy rain and very strong winds.

The strongest gust recorded was 97 mph at the Needles, Isle of Wight.

Widespread gusts of 80mph were also recorded in less exposed, inland sites, with a band of rain bringing intense thundery downpours and strong, squally winds.

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