Helicopter crew and police win awards
Published: November 6, 2006 | 5007th good news item since 2003
A POLICEWOMAN from Swansea and her male colleague plus a four-man helicopter crew from North Wales have been officially hailed as heroes.
PCs Lynne Davies, 31, and Phil Barrow, 37, ignored their own safety to rescue a mother and her two terrified daughters from a car submerged in rising flood water. And Flight Lieutenants Dave Kenyon, 36, Duncan Tough, 28, Dave Spain, 51 and Sergeant Andy Elwood, 36, of C Flight, 22 Squadron at RAF Valley, rescued the five-strong crew of a sinking yacht.
They were crowned Winners in the annual Vodafone Life Savers Awards in London this week when they received trophies in front of a 300-strong star-studded audience including TV presenter Myleene Klass, actor Martin Kemp, supermodel Sophie Anderton and Welsh Falklands veteran Simon Weston.
During the awards evening PCs Barrow and Davies were reunited with Amanda Bennett of Swansea, the mother whose babies they saved.
Ms Bennett was trying to negotiate a partially flooded road next to the Loughor Estuary in Swansea earlier this year when her car cut out.
Icy water started to pour into the car as the tide, unusually high and pushed on by gale-force winds, continued to rise.
In the back of the car were her 18-month-old twin daughters, Grace and Rosanna.
Climbing out on to the bonnet of the car, she screamed for help, and people nearby raised the alarm. The two officers were at the scene within minutes. Phil Barrow ran straight into the water and headed for the car where he could see the two babies trapped in their car seats with Amanda, becoming increasingly frantic as the water continued to rise.
He managed to manoeuvre one twin through a partially open window.
Meanwhile, Lynne Davies, his colleague had followed, struggling to keep her footing as the water reached her chest. Taking one child, she returned to dry land, leaving Phil to free the second child and help Amanda to safety.
Yesterday, the day after they received their awards, PCs Davies and Barrow went to a special reception at 10 Downing Street hosted by Tony Blair.
The RAF crew from Valley received their award for rescuing the crew of the yacht Quay Three, adrift in the Irish Sea.
The helicopter had to maintain a higher than normal hover, which meant the pilot could not see the boat. Radar and winch operator Dave Spain controlled the aircraft from the cabin door, using an auxiliary controller. Sgt Andy Elwood volunteered to be winched directly on to the yacht. He was able to successfully attach a line which helped evacuate the five yachtsmen.