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Hero policeman describes dramatic moment he saved drowning woman at Ipswich Waterfront

PUBLISHED: 07:30 20 September 2018

PC Jon Harvey awarded for rescuing woman from the water in Ipswich's waterfront.

Picture: Rachel Edge

PC Jon Harvey awarded for rescuing woman from the water in Ipswich's waterfront. Picture: Rachel Edge

Archant

A heroic off-duty policeman who saved a woman from drowning in Ipswich has spoken out about the incident as he scooped an award for his life-saving actions.

PC Jon Harvey was heading home around 1am after a shift when 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.

“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 Jonathan Harvey receiving the Royal Human Society Award from MR Robert Rous (Her Majesty’s Vice Lord Lieutenant of Suffolk) and Chief Constable Gareth Wilson. Picture: SUFFOLK CONSTABULARYPC Jonathan Harvey receiving the Royal Human Society Award from MR Robert Rous (Her Majesty’s Vice Lord Lieutenant of Suffolk) and Chief Constable Gareth Wilson. Picture: SUFFOLK CONSTABULARY

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 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 Royal Humane Society (RHS).

PC Jon Harvey awarded for rescuing woman from the water in Ipswich's waterfront.

Picture: Rachel EdgePC Jon Harvey awarded for rescuing woman from the water in Ipswich's waterfront. Picture: Rachel Edge

“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.”

PC Harvey was one of 30 officers, staff and members of the public recognised with awards given out by the Chief Constable last week.

He was one of eight that received the RHS accolade, and those join over 200,000 who have been recognised by the RHS for their life-saving work.

He added: “It was just an example of the good work we do day in, day out.

PC Jon Harvey awarded for rescuing woman from the water in Ipswich's waterfront.

Picture: Rachel EdgePC Jon Harvey awarded for rescuing woman from the water in Ipswich's waterfront. Picture: Rachel Edge

“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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