Student police officers receive national recognition after rescuing vulnerable woman from North sea

Two student police officers have been commended with national recognition for saving a woman from the North sea in South Shields.

Saturday, 15th May 2021, 3:46 pm
PC Alexandra Rackstraw and PC Andrew Curtis have won a Royal Humane Society Testimonial in recognition of their 'outstanding intervention' to help a vulnerable woman in South Shields.

PC Alexandra Rackstraw and PC Andrew Curtis have won a Royal Humane Society Testimonial in recognition of their life-saving heroics and bravery to help a vulnerable woman from the sea in South Shields

The duo were on duty in October last year and were among a team of officers tasked with locating a missing woman from South Shields.

Officers were called following concerns for the woman’s welfare and believed she was going through a mental health crisis.

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PC Alexandra Rackstraw and PC Andrew Curtis with Chief Superintendent Sarah Pitt.

Police tracked the woman’s movements on CCTV and PCs Rackstraw and Curtis were first on the scene at South Shields seafront where the woman had stepped out into the sea in choppy conditions.

The committed PCs waded out to help and brought her safely to shore.

PC Rackstraw, 27, said: “I’m just pleased that the woman is OK – and that’s the result of some outstanding teamwork between so many officers and partners, as well as supervision who had control of the whole search.

“I’m humbled to hear that I have won a Royal Humane Society Testimonial. Andrew and I just did what anybody would have done in that situation – and I’m so relieved that we were able to help bring a positive outcome to the search.”

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The Royal Humane Society awards medals, testimonials and certificates for acts of bravery in the saving of human life and for effecting successful resuscitations.

Both officers were congratulated by Chief Superintendent Sarah Pitt at Millbank Police Station in South Shields earlier this week.

PC Curtis, 22, added: “I joined the police to try and make a positive difference and help people – and along with Alexandra, we’re just so pleased to have been able to do that here.

“It was an incredibly fast-moving situation as we tried to locate the woman, bring her to safety and then ensure she received the best possible care and support from health professionals.

“We aren’t in this job for awards or accolades, we do it because we are passionate about people – but I am incredibly thankful to receive this Testimonial and would like to thank everybody involved for their kindness.”

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