Brave officers to be honoured

Two Dyfed Powys Police officers who ran into the sea to save the life of a woman in mental health crisis will be honoured at the national Police Bravery Awards on Tuesday.

PC Ian Chattun and Sergeant Katy Evans risked their own safety when they responded to a call that a woman was threatening to harm herself.

The officers found the woman, who had a recent history of self-harm, in the North Beach area of Aberystwyth. She had been submerged in the sea but had been pulled from the water by her friends and was sitting on the break-water.

The officers attempted to talk to  her to calm her down but she became distressed and ran back into the sea. The woman began to struggle as she got deeper into the water and the officers thought her life was in immediate danger.

They entered the water in full uniform, including PPE and body armour, but she was swept further out to sea. In their attempts to rescue her the officers were submerged in the water.

Sgt Evans activated her emergency button to summon further units. Her attempts to ask for assistance were compounded by the waves breaking over her head as she tried to update her situation. 

PC Chattun swam to help the woman and with Sgt Evans and two of the woman’s friends, brought her back to shore. 

Paramedics attended the scene of the incident, which happened at around 2.30am on Sunday 18 August 2019, and took the woman to hospital.

Roger Webb, secretary of Dyfed Powys Police Federation, which put the officers forward for the bravery awards, said: “This was a selfless act of bravery by both police officers as well as members of the public who undoubtedly saved a vulnerable young person’s life.

“The officers had no regard for their own personal safety and entered the water to save the life of a stranger in need. Body-worn video recordings of the incident have been viewed and the actions of the officers in the water is simply outstanding.

“They each reflect the true values of a police officer and have put themselves at great risk. Rather than see an event unfold and take no action, the officers have reacted quickly and saved a life.”

The annual Police Bravery Awards, sponsored by Police Mutual, honour some of the finest officers in England and Wales who have performed incredible acts of bravery, while on or off duty. 

The ceremony was due to be held in London in July last year but was postponed due to the pandemic.

It will now be staged on Tuesday 12 October. A total of 94 brave officers from forces across England and Wales have been put forward for an award.