A police sergeant has won a major police bravery award for wading into rapidly rising flood waters last winter to rescue a woman from her stranded car.
Sgt Luke Gribble had been on routine patrol with a colleague on the evening of 23rd December last year when a report came in of a car trapped in rising waters on an isolated country lane between Doynton and Dyrham.
The officers made way to the area and saw that the car was trapped some distance away in fast-flowing water from the nearby river that had burst its banks following a torrential downpour.
The driver had managed to escape with his 17-month-old baby but his wife was still trapped and the water was rising rapidly. Unable to get the police car close and fearing the trapped car was about to submerge, Sgt Gribble waded 100 feet through the dangerous waters to pull the woman out of the vehicle and carry her to safety.
He won the South West region Police Bravery Award at a ceremony in central London attended by the Home Secretary, Police Minister Mike Penning and Met Police Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, among other dignitaries.
He was presented with the award by Steve White, chair of the Police Federation of England and Wales.
His bravery citation said he acted quickly on instinct, fearing for the woman’s life. Without hesitation he waded through dangerous waters with no thought for his own safety.
Earlier in the day, Sgt Gribble joined 65 of his colleagues from 31 forces round the country for a reception at 10 Downing Street with Prime Minister David Cameron as a mark of recognition for his heroic acts.
Sgt Gribble said: “I’m very proud to be here and represent people who are not here as there are people out there doing amazing things and probably don’t get the recognition.”