Officer who saved a woman from drowning wins Wales Bravery Award

14 July 2016

A Dyfed Powys police officer, Sergeant David Steer, who saved a woman from drowning, was tonight named the Region 7 (Wales) winner at the 21st Police Bravery Awards in London. The awards, sponsored by Police Mutual, honour and recognise police officers who perform outstanding acts of bravery while on or off duty.

Responding to a report, during the early hours of the morning, that a young woman had entered the water of the swollen River Severn near Newtown in Wales, Sergeant David Steer discovered the lady struggling to hold on to a branch in an effort to prevent herself being swept away in the strong current.

In the pitch black and with only torchlight to see, Sgt Steer entered the water, wading in up to his chest. He was able to reach the woman and carry her to safety. Once on the river bank she suffered a seizure and became unconscious. Sgt Steer quickly carried her further up the river bank to reach colleagues who were waiting to assist and were able to offer her medical attention. Now freezing cold Sgt Steer headed home to get changed, before coming back on shift to carry on working.

On receiving the award from Sir Tom Winsor, Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Constabulary, Sgt Steer said: "It's nice to be recognised but there are an awful lot of other winners out there that put things into perspective. I feel very humbled to be in their company. I'm not a particularly strong swimmer but things just happen. My wife called me a silly billy afterwards but actually she's thrilled."

Mark Bleasdale, Chairman of Dyfed-Powys Police Federation, said: “Sgt Steer displayed tremendous courage in saving the life of this woman. Without fearing for his own safety, he bravely took decisive action to deal with the danger the woman was in. This shows his dedication and professionalism to the service and his care for the public. That deserves the utmost recognition.”

Simon Prince, Chief Constable Dyfed Powys Police, said: “We pride ourselves on being a family force and we’re extremely proud of David’s actions that night. He took an instant decision to enter the water and pull an unconscious woman to safety, undoubtedly saving her life.”

Stephen Mann, CEO of Police Mutual, said: “Congratulations to all of the brave nominees this year. We are proud to continue our support for such an inspirational event in the Policing calendar and to be able to show our respect for the exceptional courage shown by Police Officers who risk their lives every day to protect the public."