VIDEO: Brave Nottinghamshire police officer wins award for rescuing drowning woman

A courageous Nottinghamshire police officer has won an award for his bravery after he risked his life to save a woman from drowning.

By Danielle Hayden
Tuesday, 6th October 2015, 3:44 pm
Police officer James Oliver has won a bravery award for pulling a woman out of the river Trent.
Police officer James Oliver has won a bravery award for pulling a woman out of the river Trent.

Temporary Inspector James Oliver, from Mansfield, will receive a police bravery award for pulling a woman from the River Trent in Newark last year.

The 36-year-old at first believed that the woman wad dead, but discovered she was still breathing when he fought his way to her through the current.

He then held the woman out of the water for more than five minutes with his legs whilst he tried to resuscitate her in the early hours of August 31, 2014.

Police officer James Oliver has won a bravery award for pulling a woman out of the river Trent.

But Inspector Oliver did not believe he was going to get an award for this heroic act.

And this is also not the first time the intrepid officer has received an award for his bravery.

In 2012, he got the award for single-handedly fighting three thieves and arresting one of them whilst he was off duty.

Talking about his award this time, he said: “I didn’t think it was serious when I was first told about it, considering all the amazing things that other police officers do all the time.

“I feel honoured to receive this fantastic award.”

The 34-year-old had been on patrol in his vehicle when he was made aware that a woman had jumped into the River Trent and was caught in the current, faced-down.

After finding the woman floating down the river, he realised she was too far away to grab - she was approximately five metres from the side, but with a 12ft sheer drop over a concrete wall.

So he stripped off his kit, gave a by-stander his torch and ran downstream to get ahead of the woman.

The father-of-one climbed down a metal ladder at the side of the river, jumped in and grabbed the woman, before pulling the body to the side.

He then turned the body over to realise she was unconscious.

Holding onto her with his legs, he checked for signs of breathing before immediately going into chest compressions.

After five minutes, he turned to striking the woman’s chest as he was struggling to do the compressions because he had become so tired after holding her above the water with his legs.

The fire brigade and police helicopter then came along to assist them and another officer joined Insp Oliver in the water.

After he had been in the water for 20 minutes, the woman was revived and recovered - and it was first thought that the woman may have passed away.

But relieved to discover that the woman had actually survived the ordeal, Insp Oliver added: “I was in the right place at the right time.

“I’m quite a strong swimmer, so jumping in wasn’t too bad for me.

“But I just feel lucky I was there to be honest.”

Mick Taylor, secretary at Nottinghamshire Police Federation, said: “The swift, brave and selfless actions of James Oliver undoubtedly saved this woman’s life.

“His bravery went above and beyond the call of duty.

“It is decisions such as this, that officers make 24/7, day in and day out.”

James will receive his award at a ceremony in London, on October 18, where forces from across England and Wales will get to hear his story.

Stephen Mann, CEO of Police Mutual, said: “Police Mutual is extremely proud to sponsor the Police Bravery Awards, recognising the courage of police officers who face extremely challenging situations every day to keep the public safe.

“Our ongoing, long-term commitment to support these awards reflects the incredible respect we have for the work of the police service.”