Officers receive commendations after saving a man at sea
Two police officers have been recognised with commendations for their bravery when saving a man’s life in the sea.
Sgt Michael Latham, based in Basildon and Pc Thomas Clinton, based in Canvey Island, received commendations from Chief Constable Stephen Kavanagh on Friday August 18 during a special ceremony at our HQ in Chelmsford.
In July 2015, Michael and Thomas attended an incident on the Thames Estuary on Canvey Island after we received reports of a man jumping off of the sea wall.
The officers entered the water on a Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) lifeboat with six RNLI volunteer lifeguards. The water was choppy as the tide quickly rose in strong winds but the group managed to reach the man quickly.
Once the team reached the man, the lifeguards entered the water and he became aggressive and started to lash out at them. They were unable to swim closer to him so lifeguards on the boat edged the lifeboat closer to him. Michael and Thomas were then able to secure him after a short struggle and help him into the lifeboat.
The man was in need of immediate medical attention due to injuries on his face and leg and the officers helped to keep him warm as he was showing signs of early hyperthermia.
The group quickly got him back to dry land where he was met by an ambulance crew. Michael and Thomas were praised by the ambulance staff who stated that without their timely intervention, it would have been unlikely that the man would survive.
Thomas was recognised during the ceremony with his third commendation in Essex Police, he has received two others for his lifesaving actions and received another commendation from the ambulance service for giving first aid.
Chief Constable Stephen Kavanagh said: “Michael and Thomas do not get training in removing somebody in a life threatening situation in the middle of the sea, they worked with the RNLI team and bravely committed to making this man safe. It wasn’t until afterwards that the complexity that they dealt with struck and there is a man living today because of their professionalism.”
Photo L-R: Pc Thomas Clinton, Chief Constable Stephen Kavanagh and Sgt Michael Latham