Police officers who rescued two teenagers from a storm-lashed breakwater last winter have had their bravery recognised with a prestigious award.
Constables Anne Tyler and David Trevethan were presented with a Royal Humane Society certificate by Lieutenant Governor Sir Richard Gozney in a presentation at Government House last week.
During storm force winds on Sunday, November 29, last year, two teenage boys, aged 14 and 15, chose to go to the end of Castletown breakwater and play chicken with the vast and powerful waves that were breaking over it.
It soon became apparent that the boys were in imminent danger of being swept to their deaths. Just such a tragedy had occurred in the same place several years before.
Constables Trevethan and Tyler were alerted to what was going on and quickly made their way to the scene.
They could see the boys trying to shelter behind the small lighthouse at the end of the breakwater, but the danger they were in was huge. The waves were ferocious in size and strength and were they to have been swept into the sea they would certainly have drowned.
But showing admirable calmness and great courage, the officers quickly decided on a course of action to rescue the boys.
They drove their police van along the breakwater, hugging the sea wall as huge waves crashed on top of them. At one point the van was struck by a wave and moved sideways towards the harbour.
Had it fallen into the sea, then the officers would likely have lost their lives. They reached the boys and then reversed to safety along the wall.
An onlooker described the actions of Constables Trevethan and Tyler as being an ‘amazing act of bravery’.
Just a few days later a large part of the breakwater was washed away by the power of the sea.
Both boys, who live in the south of the island, were unharmed by their experience and were taken home to their parents. They were advised about the dangers of playing near the sea, especially in such bad weather conditions. One of the children was a non-swimmer.
The two police officers were formally commended by Chief Constable Gary Roberts at the annual police awards earlier this year.