Community news and investigative journalism for Wapping E1W and Tower Hamlets London

Wapping MPS Marine Unit officers honoured for Thames rescue

By on October 28, 2017 in Crime & Policing, Tower Hamlets

PC Nick Bultitude, PC Dan Larner, and PC Andy Pescott from Wapping’s very own MPS Marine Policing Unit have been presented with awards from the Royal Humane Society for their dedication, humanity and contributions towards protecting the public of London. 

The awards are presented to those who go ‘above and beyond their call of duty to save lives.’

Contrary to some wishful thinking at Wapping pier this does not mean the officers will be getting free pasties and pies for life from the bakers in Wapping Lane or hot pot and bananas from Hussey’s.

Free pasties? Sorry guys!

Which means the rest of us mere mortals will be in the same queue as some quite outstanding Marine Unit officers. As usual.

Congratulations to all involved from the Wapping community.

Official citation

PC Nick Bultitude being presented with his award by Deputy Commissioner Craig Mackey

During the early hours of 15 November 2016, the emergency services received reports of a man who had fallen into the river by Plantation Wharf, Chelsea Reach.

That evening the tide was exceptionally strong and fast flowing.

The crew of the bulk carrier the ‘Polla Rose’ (a 402 tonne vessel) spotted the man in the water screaming for help.

The crew Captain Kevin Hughes, Connor Keeshan and Alan Mole immediately responded and used the tide and the hull of the ship to try to manoeuvre him towards shallower water.

They threw him a life ring but the man was unable to use it to help himself and the crew was unable to get him out of the water. He was seen completely submerging on two occasions.

The vessel had its bow against the northern wall approximately 200 metres up river of Imperial wharf and PC Bukhari who was responding to the incident landside was able to step from the bank on to the boat.

Recognising the man was in serious difficulty PC Bukhari, without the aid of a life jacket, descended the ships pilot ladder. Despite the obvious risks, she took hold of the man, who was now unconscious and kept his head above the water.

At this point the Pollo Rose was forced to reverse; it couldn’t fight against the tide and it began to drift dangerously towards Imperial Wharf.

View from office of MPS Marine Unit. our local bridge dead ahead.

A police boat attended crewed by PC Bultitude, the Boatmaster, PC Larner and PC Pescott. They saw the Polla Rose being swept downriver and realised that if it drifted any further PC Bukhari and Mr Vasiljeus could be crushed against the nearby pier.

PC Daniel Larner being presented with his award by Deputy Commissioner Craig Mackey

In a demonstration of outstanding boat handling skills PC Bultitude drove the police vessel alongside the Polla Rose, with the pressing need to safe life.

However the situation quickly escalated when PC Bukhari lost her grip on the pilot ladder and tumbled into the river. At great risk to themselves PC Pescott and PC Larner reached over the boat’s guard rail and pulled PC Bukhari out of the water.

Realising that his crew would not be able to lift both casualties out of the water PC Bultitude made the decision to leave the wheel of the police boat to help the team pull the man onto the police boat.

Once the casualties were safely on board they were given initial first aid by the officers and PC Bultitude resumed the helm and with great skill managed to power the police vessel to safety.

Likewise the crew of the Polla Rose managed to manoeuvre their vessel in time to avoid a serious collision with inches to spare.

The crew of the police unit were in no doubt that had PC Bukhari had not kept the man’s head above the water line he would have undoubtedly sunk beneath the Thames.

PC Ky Bukhari is being awarded a Testimonial on Vellum, PC Nick Bultitude, PC Dan Larner and PC Andy Pescott are being awarded Testimonials on Parchment. Mr Kevin Hughes, Mr Connor Keeshan and Mr Alan Mole are being awarded Certificates of Commendations by the Royal Humane Society.

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