A quick-thinking police officer has been praised for using skills he picked up outside of work to rescue a distressed man from the River Thames.
Officers were made aware of a man in need of urgent assistance near Portsmouth Road in Kingston at 2.13am on Thursday, 6 August.
With no specialist crews nearby, the officers had to take immediate action to save the man who was struggling to stay afloat.
Despite the warm weather, the water was still incredibly cold and the situation was made more difficult by the lack of light in the area.
The team tried to engage with the man from the shore but he was struggling to remain calm and began drifting downstream.
With the situation escalating, PC Tom Martis-Jones from the Met’s South West Command Unit gained access to a powerboat which was stored at a nearby sailing club.
Along with his colleagues PC Mockett and PC Moore, they were able to rescue the man.
PC Martis-Jones said: “I’m a qualified powerboat driver and have sailed and swam in that part of the river since the age of 12.
“It was a high-risk situation which could have turned out very differently. I’d urge anyone who finds themselves struggling in the water to keep calm, lean back and float until help arrives.”
The man was treated by paramedics from the London Ambulance Service and went on to make a full recovery.
Chief Superintendent Sally Benatar, borough commander for the South West BCU, said:
“This is another example of the risks officers take every day to keep Londoners safe.
“I’m so proud of the officers who responded and their efforts to rescue the man. It’s possible this man would have drowned without their quick thinking.”