Heroic actions of four officers save a man from drowning in the River Thames

In the early hours of the morning on Tuesday  15 November 2016, Police had been called by the Port of London Authority to reports that a member of the public was in difficulty after having falling into the River Thames.

Before police arrived, the crew of a passing vessel ship, the Polla Rose, had managed to throw a life ring and rope to the man, who could not pull him aboard.  The four officers, from Hammersmith and Fulham were first on the scene and boarded the Polla Rose vessel.  The tide that evening/early morning was exceptionally strong and flowing faster than normal, therefore, the urgency of rescuing the man was even greater.

PC Ky Bukhari, recognising the seriousness of the situation, risked her own safety and climbed down the pilot ladder to hold onto the male to stop him from drowning, his head kept dropping face down and PC Bukhari's actions of pulling him up was the only thing that kept him up.  As events unfolded, the Polla Rose vessel could not fight the tide any longer and was forced to reverse which made it immediately drift down to towards Imperial Wharf - everyone was now in a dangerous situation.

Officers from the Marine Policing Unit (MPU) arrived to assist in the rescue, and PC Nick Bultitude from the MPU took quick action and drove his boat into the closing gap.  The boat was in a close enough position for the crew on board to perform a rescue and avoid crushing the man in the water in between the two boats. 

As the Polla Rose vessel continued to reverse, it cause PC Ky Bukhari to lose her grip on the ladder fall into the river.  Two of the MPU crew were able to lean over the guard rail of the police boat to grab her to safety. Whilst at the same time, PC Bultitude had left the wheel of the boat and was holding onto the male above the water between the police boat and the Polla Rose.  The man was then pulled onto the police boat, assisted by other police officer crew members, where he received first aid.

Both PC Ky Bukhari and the man were taken to hospital for treatment and have since been discharged.

Inspector Chris Green, from the Marine Policing Unit, said: "This was a fantastic effort by all the officers involved.  Their heroic actions resulted in saving a member of the public's life.  PC Bukhari did not think twice about putting her own life in danger in order to help the man in the water.  The officers from the Marine Policing Unit's quick thinking played a vital role not only rescuing the casualty, but their own colleague as well.

"All of the officers involved acted above and beyond the call of duty and their bravery deserves to be recognised as the actions of the crew of the Polla Rose.  This demonstrates what can be achieved when the Police and public work together."