Police officer who risked his life to save woman at Beachy Head receives honour

Andrew Chapman of the Royal Humane Society
Andrew Chapman of the Royal Humane Society

A police officer who risked his life to save a woman from jumping from Beachy Head has been awarded a Royal bravery honour.

PC Nigel Dunn was on patrol when he was alerted to a woman in her 50s acting strangely and heading to the cliff’s edge at around 8am on June 15 last year.

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He immediately went in search of her and found her close to the 531ft drop, according to a statement by the Royal Humane Society.

She told him she wanted to end her life and then stepped towards the edge.

PC Dunn rushed forward and grabbed her when she was just a foot from the edge and attempted to pull her back. She made several attempts to break free from him and jump.

At one stage she was just inches way but, although he could have been pulled over with her if she had succeeded in jumping, PC Dunn persevered and managed to hold on to her and pull her farther away from the edge and finally get her into his vehicle.

Now he has been awarded a Royal Humane Society Testimonial on Vellum which has been personally approved and will be signed by the Society’s President, Princess Alexandra.

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PC Dunn has also won the personal praise of Andrew Chapman, secretary of the society.

Speaking at the Society’s London headquarters as he announced the award he said, “This was a highly dangerous situation.

“PC Dunn could very easily have been pulled over the edge to his death if the woman had succeeded in hurling herself off the cliff while he was trying to pull her back. They were both just inches from death.

“It was an incredibly brave act on the part of PC Dunn and he richly deserves the award he is to receive. There is not a shadow of doubt he saved the woman’s life.”

No date has yet been fixed for presentation of the award but it is expected to take place in the near future.