A courageous police inspector who risked his life to save a woman from drowning in the sea near Skegness has been honoured by Royalty.
Insp Darren Sears, 47, attended a glittering ceremony at London’s Haberdasher’s Hall yesterday, where he was presented with a Royal Humane Society silver gilt police medal.
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 darknessInsp Darren Sears
The medal is presented to the officer who has shown the greatest gallantry in the UK during the year of the incident.
Presentations were made by the Society’s President, Princess Alexandra, who had personally approved the awards and signed the testimonial.
Insp Sears, who is well-known in both Nottingham and Mansfield having been stationed at both for lengthy periods, and who is now stationed at Nottingham, was staying at the home he may retire to at Anderby Creek in October 2015 when the incident happened.
He had gone to the beach with his wife to see if he could spot a local woman after hearing some-one 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.
The award was made at the Royal Humane Society’s Annual Court and as he announced the presentation the Society’s Secretary, Dick Wilkinson added his praise for Insp Sears.
He explained how Insp Sears swam out of his depth in the sea and in the darkness using only a torch held by his wife to guide him in order to rescue the woman.
Afterwards Mr Wilkinson said : “He could easily have been swept away and drowned. It was incredibly luck that he was on the beach, heard the woman and then managed to find her in the water and get her back to safety. He put himself in grave danger going into the sea which had treacherous currents in the dark of night but he did not hesitate.
“Those chosen to receive their awards at our Annual Court are the ones we considered to be the bravest of the brave and without doubt Insp Sears fits that description perfectly.”
Insp Sears, who has also received one of the Society’s Testimonials on Vellum, said: “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.”