30 Jun 2017

A Dyfed Powys police officer has been nominated for a national Police Bravery Award after he rescued a 10 year old boy from a strong current in the River Wye.

The heroic actions of PC Marc Woods will be recognised at the 22nd Police Bravery Awards next month, at a fitting ceremony in London. The awards honour and recognise police officers who performed outstanding acts of bravery while on or off duty, hosted by the Police Federation of England and Wales, and sponsored by Police Mutual.

On 27 July 2016 a member of the public reported hearing screams for help coming from the River Wye running parallel to the A44. PC Woods spoke to the caller and made his way to the riverside over boggy terrain. The river was swollen with a strong current.

He found a 10 year old boy clinging to a rock in the middle of the river, unable to move and in imminent danger. The boy’s father was further down the river also clinging to a rock. The child was prioritised and a rescue line thrown to him. PC Woods swam out to the boy and secured the rescue line to him before swimming with him to the far bank.

As this happened, additional police and Fire and Rescue Service officers arrived to rescue the boy’s father. It was established that the pair had been crossing the river carrying rucksacks to go camping when the child fell into the fast flowing river. His father entered the water to help but was also taken by the current.

Chair of the Dyfed Powys Police Federation, Mark Bleasdale, said:

“Without doubt, the swift actions of PC Woods saved the life of the child and this has been recognised by those involved and those present. He took a great risk in swimming across the river and showed tremendous courage in his actions, without fear for his own safety.”

Superintendent Huw Meredith, Head of Operations Dyfed–Powys Police said

PC Woods can justifiably feel very proud of his actions in entering a fast flowing river in treacherous conditions and taking the young boy to safety. His selfless actions prevented a tragedy occurring. Everyone in Dyfed-Powys Police is very proud of his actions and he is a worthy nomination for a Bravery Award.

Stephen Mann, CEO of Police Mutual, said:

“Police Mutual is very proud to be supporting the Police Bravery Awards for the ninth consecutive year.  I am always astounded by police officers’ acts of bravery and my colleagues and I continue to be inspired by their dedication.  They are a true inspiration and I feel privileged and humbled to be part of the Awards again.”

PC Wood received a Chief Constables commendation and is due to receive a Royal Humane Society Award