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Met officer uses powerboat skills to save man from River Thames

A quick-thinking officer has been praised for using skills he picked up outside of work to rescue a distressed man from the River Thames.

PC Tom Martis-Jones from the Met’s South West Command Unit was responding to the incident and happened to be a qualified powerboat driver.

Officers were made aware of a man in need of urgent assistance near Portsmouth Road in Kingston. The man was struggling to stay afloat in the water in a poorly lit area of the River Thames.

The team tried to engage with the man from the shore but he was struggling to remain calm and began drifting downstream.

With no specialist crews nearby and the situation escalating, PC Martis-Jones took immediate action and gained access to the powerboat which was stored at a nearby sailing club.

Along with his colleagues PC Mockett and PC Moore, they were then able to rescue the man.

The man was treated by paramedics from the London Ambulance Service and went on to make a full recovery.

PC Martis-Jones said: “I’m a qualified powerboat driver and have sailed and swam in that part of the river since the age of 12.”

“It was a high-risk situation which could have turned out very differently,” he added.

Chief Superintendent Sally Benatar, borough commander for the South West BCU, said: “This is another example of the risks officers take every day to keep Londoners safe.

"I'm so proud of the officers who responded and their efforts to rescue the man. It’s possible this man would have drowned without their quick thinking.”

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