TWO officers waded into the sea up to their chests to rescue a suicidal woman.

The distressed woman had got herself into difficulty at Brighton Palace Pier in August 2017.

PC Lynsey Burkinshaw and PC Lara England received the call about her, and acted on instinct to carry out the successful rescue.

But it was not easy, as they braved the cold waters at night, and felt the shore fall away under their feet as they waded out.

For their courage they received commendations at the police divisional awards held at the British Airways i360 yesterday.

They were presented with their award by Brighton and Hove Mayor Dee Simpson, and Superintendent Ed De La Rue. He said: “The officers' actions without doubt saved the woman’s life.

“PC England and PC Burkinshaw attended a report of a suicidal woman threatening to enter the water.

“They found her near the pier and she was unconscious and was non-responsive. They entered the water, rescued her, and commenced first aid.”

PC England said the incident happened at night, but said it was their instinct to go to help.

She said: “We had the call as there was concern about her. We tried to drag her out and then did first aid, we didn’t realise how deep the water was. It was a sudden drop.


“For us it is something that just comes as human nature. When you see someone struggling you go in and try to help, regardless of whether you are working on duty or not.”

Meanwhile PC Burkinshaw said that some help arrived from off duty special constables who were off duty on the shore.

She said: “It was a busy night on the radio, there was nobody else to respond. We had the call come in about her, she called and said she was down by the pier.

“We went around there looking for her, and then saw a body in the water. We both just ran straight into the sea, it didn’t look as deep as it was. It probably went up to our chest. But both of us just went into the water.

“While we are not always called to incidents in the water, I have no doubt that we would definitely do the same thing again if we had to.”

The duo were among dozens of officers praised for their courage and dedication at the awards yesterday.

High Sheriff of East Sussex John Moore-Bick attended and thanked the recipients on behalf of Her Majesty the Queen.

The Major General has 50 years of experience in the army, but has more recently been on patrol with officers across the county, and praised the teamwork and atmosphere at police stations.

He said: "You know what great efforts you put in to keep Sussex a safe place. It is good work being done by good, decent and nice people."