Brave PC hailed for sea rescue

Hastings seafront. SUS-150623-132536001
Hastings seafront. SUS-150623-132536001

There have been calls for a police officer to be rewarded for his bravery after he rescued a vulnerable woman from rough seas at Hastings.

Just after 6pm on Wednesday, June 17, police received a 999 call to say a woman was in the sea and in danger of drowning.

Officers raced to the scene at Pelham Place to discover her up to her neck in the water, with the waves crashing over her head.

Without a moment’s hesitation, PC Matt Ostach, dressed in full uniform, headed into the waves up to his chest to get to the woman while his colleague PC Amber Russell maintained a commentary on the situation via her radio.

Eyewitness Rosella Downes told the Observer: “He took his big heavy belt off, gave it to his colleague and walked straight in.

“He walked in and walked her out of the sea.

“It was quite something else.”

Despite the woman’s struggling, PC Ostach managed to bring her ashore within five minutes

Rosella, who works as a nurse at the Conquest Hospital, stayed for a little while in case her services were required, but paramedics were quickly on the scene.

Speaking about PC Ostach’s actions, Rosella said: “That police officer should get a commendation.

“There’s not a lot that takes my breath away, but his bravery blew me off my feet.”

She added: “I went round to the police station later on that night to say how fantastic that man was, but the police station was shut!”

The officers’ supervisor, Sergeant Steve Prince, said: “This was an excellent response in which the two officers worked together to deal swiftly and safely with a challenging and potentially risky situation. After warming up and a change of clothing for PC Ostach, they returned to their patrol.”

The woman was detained under the Mental Health Act.

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