A Nottinghamshire police officer who put his life on the line during a break at his holiday home near Skegness by going into the sea at night to save a local woman from drowning is to receive a top national bravery honour personally approved by royalty.
PS Darren Sears, who is well-known in both Nottingham and Mansfield having been stationed at both for lengthy periods, was staying at the home he may retire to at Anderby Creek in October last year when the incident happened.
He had gone to the beach with his wife to see if he could spot a local woman after hearing someone asking if she had been seen.
When he got to the beach he heard a woman’s voice coming from the sea. He removed his clothing and waded out into the dark waters which also had dangerous currents. When he finally located her he swam to her and although she struggled he pulled her back to the beach where his wife was waiting.
Now he has been awarded a Royal Humane Society testimonial on vellum which has been personally approved by the Society’s President, Princess Alexandra, and will be signed by her.
In addition to the award he is to receive he has also won the personal praise of Dick Wilkinson, secretary of the Royal Humane Society.
Speaking at the Society’s London headquarters he said: “Thankfully PS Sears spotted her in the nick of time. She was trying to drown herself. He put himself in grave danger going into the sea which had treacherous currents in the dark of night but he did not hesitate and thankfully located her and managed to get her back to the safety of the beach and take care of her until emergency services arrived.”
Speaking about the incident PS Sears said this week: “I was just thankful I managed to find her and get her to safety. It was pitch black on the beach. I felt terrible about the way my wife must have felt. All she could see was me disappearing into the darkness.”
No date has yet been fixed for presentation of the award, which has been made following a recommendation from Nottinghamshire Police, but it is expected to take place in the near future.