Royal Sandringham estate worker thanks police for saving his life

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A Royal Sandringham Estate worker has thanked the policemen who saved his life after becoming trapped underwater by a lawn mower.

Gardener Lee Abel, 33, was caught below a ride-on mower for several minutes after it toppled into Lower Lake before PCs Keith Hunt and Darren Wynne waded into the water to rescue him.

Mr Abel was resuscitated by the two Royal Protection officers and head gardener Martin Woods before being airlifted to hospital on July 8.

The 33-year-old has thanked his rescuers and watched as they were presented with Royal Humane Society Awards for bravery by Lady Louisa Spicer during the police’s long service and good conduct awards ceremony in Norwich on Thursday last week.

Mr Abel, who attended the ceremony with his partner Belinda Greenacre, has praised the people who saved his life.

He said: “They definitely should get an award for what they did for me.

“They were brilliant from the moment they saw the mower they just got in and hauled me out and started to resuscitate me. The air ambulance crew said they did an incredible job.

“I can’t recall what happened at all. The first I knew about it was when I was told by friends and family in hospital.

“It was as if someone had told me a story and it was hard for me to recognise that it was actually about me.”

Mr Abel spent a month in hospital and still suffers some symptoms but is on his way to making a full recovery at home in the Sandringham area.

He has thanked his family for their support.

Mr Abel said:“Belinda has been amazing. She was with me all through the hospital. It was harder for my family than it was for me because they had to see me in a coma and going through so much.”

Supt Kevin Clarke, head of the force’s Royalty Protection squad, has praised the trio. He said: “Their actions in rescuing Lee undoubtedly saved his life, and the fact that Lee was able to attend the evening to see all three receiving their awards was incredibly poignant and moving.”