An off-duty North Yorkshire Police Special Constable has been praised for rescuing a man from a canal while he was on holiday.
Harrogate-based Temporary Special Sergeant Mike Parris was on a family narrowboat holiday in North Wales when a man in his 70s fell from a nearby boat.
His county commander complimented his quick-thinking after he hoisted the man to safety by his belt to prevent him being crushed between the boat and the banks of the canal.
T/Special Sgt Parris said:
I came out of my boat and heard someone calling for help.
I thought they were struggling to moor at first. Then I realised there was a man in the water.
He was in between the boat and the side of the canal, so it could have been pretty horrible.
I managed to haul him out by his belt and made sure he was okay. He was a bit wet and shaken but fortunately he was absolutely fine apart from that.
T/Special Sgt Parris added that volunteering as a Special Constable – or “Special” as they are known – helped him react quickly and calmly in a difficult situation.
T/Special Sgt Parris added:
It’s the sort of situation where you think ‘I’ve just got to deal with this now – everything else has to wait.
Superintendent Paula Booth, county commander for the Harrogate area, said the his actions and quick-thinking were a credit to the force:
North Yorkshire Police is extremely proud of the huge contribution made by its Specials – our force would not be the same without them.
T/Special Sgt Parris acted quickly and selflessly when he saw someone in trouble, and this embodies the skills and attributes we value in our Specials.
Specials come from all walks of life and backgrounds and bring a diverse range of skills and life experiences to policing.
They have the same powers and uniform as regular police officers and are required to volunteer at least 16 hours per month to policing duties.