Praise for injured PC who saved man from canal leap
PUBLISHED: 12:00 02 March 2011
AN off-duty police officer stopped a man from leaping to his death into a dangerous waterway – despite having just had knee surgery.
PC Chris Halfhide was recovering at home three days after an operation on his shattered kneecap when he came across a man trying to take his own life at Limehouse Basin.
He and his colleague, PC Stephen Bullock, who he had called to the scene, grabbed the man as he ran towards the edge of the drop and pulled him to safety.
The officers have received special recognition as part of the Met’s Heroes Week.
Both men were still going through their training when they stumbled across the scene last September.
PC Halfhide, 24, said: “I was ready to jump in. I’m a confident swimmer and used to be a lifeguard. My knee wasn’t great but I knew I’d be ok in the water. All the training we’d just had came into play.”
“There was never a doubt we’d step in. A police officer is never really off duty.”
Coincidentally, PC Halfhide’s father, who served as a police officer for 30 years, rescued a man trying to take his life at exactly the same spot 25 years ago.
He added: “I told my dad about it after and it was really strange to find out about his experience.
“We talked to the guy for half an hour after we’d pulled him in.”
The man was distressed because his father had recently died and he saw no point in living.
Police later arrived to take the man for psychological help.