Two policemen and the head gardener at Sandringham have been awarded top national life-saving honours .
They dragged an estate worker out of a lake after he had toppled in while on a ride-on lawn mower on July 8, last year.
The victim, a Lynn man, was driving the 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 10 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 (RHS) testimonials on parchment and the two police are additionally to receive resuscitation certificates for their fight to revive him.
This week all three received the personal praise of Dick Wilkinson secretary of the RHS. As he announced the awards on Tuesday at the Society’s London headquarters he 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 10 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 administering 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.”
After the accident, the Health and Safety Executive launched an investigation into the incident.
No date has yet been fixed for presentation of the awards, which follow recommendations by Norfolk police, but it is hoped to be soon.
The RHS was founded in 1774 and is the premier national body for honouring bravery in the saving of human life.
Princess Alexandra is the society’s president.
The RHS – which is a registered charity – also awards non healthcare professionals who perform a successful resuscitation.
Since it was set up, it has considered over 86,000 cases and made over 200,000 awards.