Hampshire Police Officer Up For Bravery Award

The actions of off duty officer PC Nick Whitehouse on a day off with family have led to him being nominated for a national police bravery award after he tried to rescue a drowning family.

On the 5th August 2007, PC Whitehouse who's based in Alton was off duty and spending a day at the beach with his family. When at the beach he became aware of some shouting in the distance and spotted a group of people about 50 metres out to sea who appeared to be in difficulty. The beach, renowned locally for its quick tides and dangerous currents so he left his son with his wife and started to swim out towards the group.

As PC Whitehouse got nearer he realised a man was holding his child above his head. It was clear the tide was coming in extremely quickly and had caught this group by surprise. Soon the man he had spotted disappeared. As he approached he realised the man was face down in water and as rolled him over he saw his face had turned blue.

PC Whitehouse was then joined by a member of the public who helped to take the man back to shore. The man had stopped breathing, so PC Whitehouse cleared his airway and with the help of the other man started CPR which they continued for twenty minutes until the paramedics arrived and sadly pronounced the man dead.

The efforts of PC Whitehouse and the other male helped save the lives of the rest of the family who due to the sea conditions would more than likely have drowned.

The Chairman of Hampshire Police Federation, John Apter, said:

"PC Whitehouse was off duty with his family when he became aware of the group in difficulty. He acted in a selfless way, putting himself at risk for the benefit of others. PC Whitehouse is a credit to himself and Hampshire Constabulary".
The Chief Constable of Hampshire Constabulary, Alex Marshall, said:

"PC Whitehouse put himself at risk to try and save others, his nomination is strongly supported by me and Hampshire Constabulary".

The Police Bravery Awards, hosted in partnership with The Sun newspaper, is an annual event which honours Police Officers across England and Wales for their actions to tackle criminals and keep the public safe.  This year marks the 15th anniversary for the Police Bravery Awards.  The ceremony's taking place on the 8th July at the Dorchester Hotel in London.