A BRAVE policewoman who dived into freezing waters to rescue a Royal Navy rating has been rewarded for her heroic actions.
PC Amelia Dowler was patrolling Portsmouth Naval Base when a sailor was found motionless in the cold and dark waters of No 2 Basin.
The Ministry of Defence Police officer immediately took off her boots and outer clothing and was lowered into the murky water by colleague PC Richard Le Moignan.
She swam out to the sailor with the aid of a lifebuoy, before pulling him back to the edge of the basin and hauling him out.
PC Dowler has now been presented with a Royal Lifesaving Society certificate of commendation by the Lord Lieutenant of Hampshire, Dame Mary Fagan, in recognition of her bravery.
PC Dowler, 39, from Lee-on-the-Solent, said: ‘The award means a tremendous amount to me, particularly as I was trained by the society as a teenager.
‘The training came back to me in a flash that night, and I would encourage everyone to learn lifesaving skills.
‘You simply never know when they might be needed.’
As reported in The News, the incident happened on a cold evening in December last year.
The alarm was raised by a taxi driver who had dropped the sailor off near the basin.
His concern sparked a search for the man, which ended in the rescue.
After PC Dowler pulled him from the water, other officers arrived and took off their clothing to keep the rating warm until paramedics arrived.
The sailor was released from hospital after a couple of days after making a full recovery.
PC Dowler added: ‘Events that night happened so quickly but I had no hesitation in getting in the water.
‘The sailor needed help quickly, it was as simple as that.
‘But it was a team effort, we all played a part.’
PC Dowler joined the Ministry of Defence Police 12 years ago, after leaving the Royal Navy.
She was presented with her award in a ceremony at Portsmouth Naval Base.