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Special Constables praised after rescuing boy 'minutes away' from being engulfed by floods

Photos courtesy of Cheshire Police

A team of Special Constables have been praised for saving the life of a 15-year-old boy by rescuing him from floodwaters in Nantwich.

Cheshire Police say the teenager was minutes away from being engulfed by the floods in the River Weaver between 10:30pm and 11pm on Saturday 26 October.

First on the scene at Waterlode were Special Constables Stefan Williams and Ashley Wood who could hear the boy’s desperate cries for help.

With the pathways under water, the officers used their local knowledge to navigate through fields where they could see the boy submerged with water up to his chin and clinging to a tree.

Despite the treacherous conditions, 28-year-old SC Williams, who is a deliveries manager, and has volunteered as a Special Constable for the past three years, bravely entered the water to waist height while tethered to ropes that his colleagues SC Wood and SC James Norton were feeding to him.

The boy, who had the onset of hypothermia, could not see the rescue rope thrown to him and was becoming extremely distressed.


Aerial view of the floods in Nantwich

Despite this, officers, including Special Inspector Grant Williams, maintained visual and verbal contact with the boy until Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service firefighters arrived, who alongside SC Woods, successfully managed to rescue the boy safely and take him to Leighton Hospital for a medical assessment.

A following area search was required after reports from the boy that he was not alone and other friends may be at risk. Conducted in very dangerous conditions, the search ceased only when the friends were subsequently confirmed as safe and well at home.

SC Williams said: “When we first got to the scene I thought it was a job for the fire service, but when I saw the boy I knew there was no time to wait for assistance. I could hear him shouting ‘help me, I don’t want to die’.

“Then the adrenaline took over, as all I could think of was doing everything I could do to save him.

“I am just very glad I was in the right place at the right time and with enough knowledge of that area to know where to look, I am proud that I could help him.”

Special Superintendent Michael Mulqueen added: “I have spoken to the Special Constabulary officers involved to convey to them, personally and on behalf of the Constabulary, sincere gratitude for their outstanding courage and professionalism in helping to spare a family from the terrible loss of a child.

“The policing code is to selflessly run towards danger, to maximise safety of the public we serve and to mitigate the risks to ourselves with professional judgement allied to effective training.

“The officers involved in Saturday night’s operation put these words into action and, thankfully, a boy is alive today as a result.”

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