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Last Updated: Friday, 9 July, 2004, 06:06 GMT 07:06 UK
Pc's bravery award for sea rescue
Pc Simon Tudor
Pc Simon Tudor braved freezing seas to rescue a woman
A police officer who plunged into the sea in darkness to rescue a woman has received a bravery award.

Pc Simon Tudor, 33, dived into freezing waters at Aberystwyth harbour early on 2 January last year to rescue the 39-year-old woman.

Pc Tudor fought a current to swim to the woman, who was barely conscious and sinking beneath the surface.

He was awarded the title of bravest officer in Wales at the Police Federation's courage awards.

The Dyfed-Powys officer's rescue took place during a search for the woman, which began when he and a colleague found a car abandoned at Aberystwyth harbour.

A check found it belonged to a woman who had previously tried to kill herself.

By the time I went into the sea, she seemed to have been caught in a tidal flow and had been swept further away
Pc Simon Tudor

The officers then found clothing and a set of crutches at the end of the jetty.

Shortly afterwards, the woman was spotted about 100metres from shore and drifting further out to sea.

After radioing for coastguard support and emergency services back up, Pc Tudor attached a lifebelt to himself and swam towards her.

"By the time I went into the sea, she seemed to have been caught in a tidal flow and had been swept further away," he said.

Full recovery

The safety line was not long enough to reach her, and so Pc Tudor let go of the line and swam to her.

But by the time he reached her, she was 300 metres from shore and unable to swim for herself.

He was able to bring her ashore and she made a full recovery after being treated for hypothermia.

Pc Tudor was given his award in a ceremony at the Dorchester Hotel, London, on Thursday evening attended by Home Secretary David Blunkett.

The presentation followed a reception at 10 Downing Street where Pc Tudor and 44 other nominees for the awards from England and Wales met Tony Blair.

'Highest praise'

Pc Tudor was among eight regional winners at the annual ceremony, staged to recognise officers who put themselves at risk of death or serious harm whilst performing their duties.

Jan Berry, chairman of the Police Federation of England and Wales, which organises the police bravery awards, said: "Constable Tudor deserves the highest praise.

"He acted beyond the call of duty and demonstrated immense courage by risking his own life to save another.

"He is a credit to the police service. We hope this award goes some way towards recognising his bravery."

The award was not the first that Pc Tudor had received for the rescue: in April 2003, he was awarded a Royal Humane Society bronze medal for saving the woman.

Pc's award for sea rescue
03 Apr 03  |  Wales

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