Two Royalty Protection police and the head gardener on the Sandringham estate have today, Tuesday January 7, been awarded top national life-saving honours for rescuing a garden worker following a horror accident.
It happened on the afternoon of July 8 last year. The victim, a Kings Lynn man, was driving a ride-on mower which slid down a bank and ended upside down in a lake with the rider still strapped in the seat.
He was under water for ten minutes before PCs Keith Hunt and Darren Wynne with the help of the estate’s head gardener, Martin Woods, managed to drag the mower upright and pull the victim out of the water.
Now the three of them are to receive Royal Humane Society testimonials on parchment and the two police are additionally to receive resuscitation certificates for their fight to revive him.
Announcing the awards in London this morning, Dick Wilkinson, the society’s secretary, said: “It is little short of a miracle that the victim is alive today.
“It was a horrific incident and but for the refusal of the police to give up their efforts to revive him after he had been dragged from the water he would never have survived.”
Describing what happened Mr Wilkinson said : “The mower driver was cutting grass when he lost control of the mower and it skidded down a grass bank and over a three foot drop into a lake.
“The driver was strapped on so could not throw himself clear and ended up under the machine with its weight on his head and neck.
“He was under water for ten minutes before PCs Hunt and Wynne arrived in their vehicle. They jumped straight into the water and waded waist deep to the mower. With the help of Martin Woods they righted it and pulled the man out.
“They then administered cardiac pulmonary resuscitation and used the defibrillator which they were carrying in their vehicle. They knew he had been under water for 10 minutes but they persevered and, after the arrival of paramedics, they continued to assist.
“After some 20 minutes, a faint pulse was detected. He was taken to hospital, by air ambulance, where he was put in an induced coma. He is now recovering in hospital.”
No date has yet been fixed for presentation of the awards, which follow recommendations by Norfolk police, but it is expected to take place in the near future.
The Royal Humane Society was founded in 1774 as a means of promotion resuscitation techniques and is the leading national body for honouring bravery in the saving of human life.