These five police officers saved a suicidal woman from a raging River Darwen

Posted on - 20th June, 2016 - 4:17pm | Author - | Posted in - Lancashire Police, People, Preston News, Walton-le-Dale
From left to right, clockwise: PC Louise Pointer, PC Darren Edwards, PC Lee Brown, PC Martin Cox and PC Helen Blackburn

From left to right, clockwise: PC Louise Pointer, PC Darren Edwards, PC Lee Brown, PC Martin Cox and PC Helen Blackburn

Five police officers are being recognised for bravery after rescuing a woman who tried to take her own life near Preston.


Close to midnight in December last year the officers were called to the banks of the River Darwen near Chorley Road in Walton-le-Dale.

A woman was threatening to jump from a small ledge on a steep embankment.

PC Martin Cox, Darren Edwards, Lee Brown, Helen Blackburn and Louise Pointer answered the emergency call.

PC Cox tried to speak to the woman and persuade her to come away from the river, which was dangerously swollen due to the heavy rain during December.

A negotiator and paramedic arrived shortly after but neither was able to get a response from the woman.

She jumped into the water, but clung to some bushes to stop her from going under.

The officers thre a lifeline to the woman, which she took. This was anchored by PC Brown.

A rescue operation then took place, with one of the officers nearly being swept away in the raging torrent of water.

PC Cox tied a lifeline around himself and made his way down the embankment. He got hold of her but couldn’t get her out of the water.

Enter PC Edwards who entered the water and hauled the woman and his colleague to safety, with PCs Pointer and Blackburn anchoring his lifeline and supporting him.

His actions led to a chest infection in his right lung, causing it to collapsed and he was in hospital for five days.

The officers have been recognised with a nomination for a Police Bravery Award, and have been awarded the William Garnet Cup for their actions.

Chair of the Lancashire Police Federation Rachel Baines said: “These five officers showed tremendous bravery under extremely difficult and dangerous circumstances. They put themselves at great personal risk and should be proud of their actions that day.”

CEO of Police Mutual Stephen Mann said: “This year marks the 21st anniversary of the Police Bravery Awards and the eighth consecutive year that Police Mutual has sponsored them. We are proud to continue our support for such an inspirational event in the Policing calendar and to be able to show our respect for the exceptional courage shown by Police Officers who risk their lives every day to protect the public.”

The officers will attend a ceremony in London in mid-July to receive their awards.

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