Policemen hailed for sea rescue

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The Independent Online

Two police officers were praised today for braving freezing temperatures to rescue a man from drowning in the sea.

Police Constables Mark Mason and Lee Adamson waded up to waist height to pluck him to safety last night.

They were first on the scene after reports that the 42-year-old was seen walking into the water at Wildersmouth Beach, near Ilfracombe, Devon, at about 10.45pm.

He was standing on rocks, threatening to jump, when they arrived and he refused to speak to them.

A wave then washed him into the sea and, rather than wait for a lifeboat, the officers waded out to rescue him.

The man, from Barnstaple, was then arrested under the Mental Health Act and later taken to North Devon District Hospital.

Inspector Andy Oliver, from Devon and Cornwall Police, said: "The Coastguard had been alerted to the incident but both officers felt the need to put themselves at risk to save the male before a lifeboat could reach the area.

"Both officers should be very proud for their actions in helping save this man's life."