Bexley police officers leap into the Thames at Thamesmead to rescue stranded woman (From News Shopper)
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Bexley police officers leap into the Thames at Thamesmead to rescue stranded woman
TWO Bexley police officers who leapt into the River Thames to rescue a woman stranded 40 metres from the shore have been praised by the borough commander.
PC’s Jason Campbell, 37 and Stefen Rule, 34, stripped off before diving into the Thames at Thamesmead on Sunday evening (July 29) to save the life of a woman who was being swept away by the current.
The duo brought the 30-year-old woman to safety, with PC Campbell initially swimming into the river while PC Rule remained on the shoreline arranging further support.
Speaking to News Shopper, PC Campbell said: “When I got to her she was really struggling.
“She went under a few times just before I got there.
“I picked her up, put her head on my chest and tried to kick back to the shore with her, telling her that she was going to be alright.”
As PC Campbell carried the lady towards the shoreline, his colleague noticed he was tiring and offered to take over in the water.
PC Campbell, an officer for seven years, added: “I was knackered by this point so he jumped in and we both waded back into the shore with her.
“There is so much that could have gone wrong if you look back at it now.”
PC Rule, an officer of 14 years, said: “We both discussed it as we drove there and said we were prepared to go in as we’re both competent swimmers.
“The tide was against us and drifting out but we had to go in - we did it without any hesitation, we were doing our job.”
Upon arriving safely at the shore, the woman was taken to hospital by ambulance as a precaution.
Following the heroic rescue, Bexley borough commander Chief Superintendent Victor Olisa said: “The selfless bravery of the officers, combined with their calm actions, prevented what could easily have turned into a tragedy.
“I’m immensely proud of them.”
Greenwich Police is investigating the incident.
It is not yet known how the woman ended up in the water.