TWO fearless police officers who disregarded their own safety in order to save a woman found drowning in icy waters have been prestigiously honoured.

Sergeant Will Bowen and PC Andy Perry, who were both working for the Clacton Local Policing Team, received a concerning report back in December 2020.

They had been informed that a woman and a man were both seen drowning in the sea off Clacton beach and immediately responded to the call.

Upon arrival, and without hesitation, despite the tide coming in close to the sea wall, the officers removed their body armour and ventured out into the rough waters.

They had first attempted to use a throwing line to connect with the woman, who was spotted roughly 20-feet out, but she was unable to grab hold of it.

Gazette: LIFE SAVER: PC Andy PerryLIFE SAVER: PC Andy Perry

With only their torches to light the way the pair initially split-up, but it soon transpired there was only the woman who needed rescuing.

After retrieving and manoeuvring her to the shore, Sergeant Bowen and PC Perry delivered first aid and ensured she was kept warm until the paramedics arrived.

“This type of incident is rare but it is the reason many of us join this job - to help people when they desperately need it,” said Sergeant Bowen.

“We didn’t think about our own safety and our priority was getting the woman out of the water and then getting her dry and warm.

“Adrenaline takes over and it was only afterwards I thought about the what ifs, how dangerous the sea can be and how cold it really was.”

The two officers’ heroics have now seen them awarded with a Chief Constable’s Commendations by Essex Police Chief Constable Ben-Julian Harrington

Gazette: TRUE HERO: Sergeant Will BowenTRUE HERO: Sergeant Will Bowen

Sergeant Bowen added: “It is always nice to get a pat on the back but to be recognised and awarded by the Chief Constable is that little bit more special.

“It shows the big boss appreciates the hard work, determination and risks we take on the front line to keep Essex safer and protect our residents.”

Chief Constable Harrington added: “I ask officers to help people and keep them safe and the officers I have commended have done exactly that.

“How many people going home from work can say ‘I saved someone’s life’?”