“Neil and his team were alerted to a vulnerable female in the Arlesey Station area, to which Vital teams Sierra and Quebec offered to support search efforts.
Neil liaised with British Transport Police Officers who gave brief on the situation. He arrived on-site at Arlesey Station for observations from the footbridge, whilst BTP TT, Bedfordshire Police, Team Sierra and NPAS carried out a wider area search. There was a dog walker calling for help and pointing at the river on the downside of the station. Urgent assistance was requested via radio by Neil, whilst team Sierra confirmed that BTP TT had been alerted.
Upon arrival, a female matching the description of the missing person was seen in the water. She was foaming from the mouth, had a pale face and was struggling to keep their head above water. Confirmed via radio, the missing person was in River Purwell.
Without hesitation, Neil removed his coat, radio and phone and entered the water to support the female. The water was approximately 6ft deep at its deepest part. He pulled the female to the embankment that was steep with soft underfoot conditions, which made it impossible to push the female out from the water.
Neil calmly waited for approximately 7-8 minutes for urgent assistance to arrive on the scene. The female could only say the word 'cold'. Reassurance was given throughout by Neil, explaining that help was moments away and warmth would be provided through body heat.
The female was pulled from the water by BTP TT3 PC J. STACEY. PC B. HERRIDGE, aided by Neil from in the water. Clothes were cut from her upper body and foil wrap and coats were used to retain body temperature. Her feet and hands were also massaged to help blood circulation.
PC. J. STACEY & PC B. HERRIDGE monitored the female and explained step by step to her what was happening, continually attempting to gain verbal responses, as secondary drowning was also a concern.
TT3 organised for a MOMs stretcher to be utilised to move the female to the nearest car park accessible by ambulance, whilst team Sierra was tasked with directing the ambulance crew and carrying equipment, erecting the stretcher etc. The ambulance crew soon attended and took the female to hospital.“
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