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'Superman' police officer hailed a community hero after saving woman's life

PUBLISHED: 11:49 18 December 2018 | UPDATED: 11:49 18 December 2018

PC Jon Harvey recognised for rescuing woman from the water in Ipswich's waterfront Picture: RACHEL EDGE

PC Jon Harvey recognised for rescuing woman from the water in Ipswich's waterfront Picture: RACHEL EDGE

Archant

Pc Jon Harvey had to strip to his underpants to dive into the water and save a woman from drowning in Ipswich marina - so his colleagues treated him to some Superman underpants in honour of his life-saving feat.

PC Jon Harvey recognised for rescuing woman from the water in Ipswich's waterfront Picture: RACHEL EDGEPC Jon Harvey recognised for rescuing woman from the water in Ipswich's waterfront Picture: RACHEL EDGE

Walking home around 1am after a shift, he was radioed by a colleague to tell him a woman was in trouble along the Waterfront after ending up in the marina.

He ran to the woman’s aid and quickly saw that if she was left much longer, she was going to die.

Pc Harvey said: “Her friends were shouting and she was coughing, spluttering, struggling to stay afloat.

“It’s likely that she could have taken in a lungful of water and suffered some cold water shock.

PC Jon Harvey recognised for rescuing woman from the water in Ipswich's waterfront Picture: RACHEL EDGEPC Jon Harvey recognised for rescuing woman from the water in Ipswich's waterfront Picture: RACHEL EDGE

“When I reached her with a life preserver she didn’t have the strength left to hold onto it, so she was very close to drowning.”

Pc Harvey has spent 15 years volunteering with the Felixstowe Coast Patrol, so was comfortable in the water – even while supporting the semi-conscious woman as he swam to the nearest ladder to get both of them out.

The East of England Ambulance Service arrived shortly after the woman was pulled from the water and went to hospital with suspected hypothermia.

He has already been awarded a Royal Humane Society (RHS) award for his actions, along with a gong in this year’s Stars of Suffolk Awards.

PC Jon Harvey recognised for rescuing woman from the water in Ipswich's waterfront Picture: RACHEL EDGEPC Jon Harvey recognised for rescuing woman from the water in Ipswich's waterfront Picture: RACHEL EDGE

He continued: “Once she was safe and the paramedics made sure she was okay I went back to my clothes to get dressed – I had stripped down to my pants – and already had some messages from other officers saying ‘nice boxers’.

“They even got me some Superman pants after it was announced I was getting the award from the RHS.”

Being recognised for his deeds more than once, PC Harvey made it clear he was not letting the praise go to his head.

He added: “It was honestly just part of the job and it is a privilege to be given the award, but it’s nice to be kept grounded by the guys – it’s part of the camaraderie of the force.

“What I did was not above and beyond what another officer would do, but to be in the right place at the right time to help that woman is why we do the job.

“This was one of those moments that the police train for, but if you our someone you know ends up in that kind of position, you should always call 999.”

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