Sidmouth Specials commended over dramatic rescue

PUBLISHED: 14:37 05 July 2011

SC Jon Vale honoured at ceremony

SC Jon Vale honoured at ceremony


SC Inspector Jonathan Vale and SC Sergeant Adrian Bray’s instincts led to a ‘high risk’ missing person being found in the nick of time

A PAIR of Special Constables were honoured for their part in a dramatic rescue that saw a woman plucked to safety from a Sidmouth cliff-face on a freezing New Year’s night.

SC Inspector Jonathan Vale and SC Sergeant Adrian Bray’s instincts led to a ‘high risk’ missing person being found in the nick of time, said police chiefs who handed them awards last Tuesday.

SCs Bray and Vale were commended for their efforts on 31 December 2009 when they assisted in the search for a woman who’d failed to attend a regular hospital appointment.

“Adrian and Jon were on patrol checking car parks in rural Sidmouth when their attention was drawn to a parked vehicle,” said a police spokesperson.

“The vehicle was found to be related to the woman in question. With no real reason why it should be there and the previous concerns for her safety, the search began to concentrate in this area.

“The force helicopter located a heat source in thick undergrowth some 30 metres down a cliff face and the Coastguard and search teams attended.

“With temperatures falling to sub-zero, and the danger of hypothermia, the cliff rescue team was on scene in minutes.

“The woman was located and winched to safety to a waiting ambulance team.

“There is no doubt the gut feeling these officers had that night, in respect of a vehicle being ‘out of place’, had a direct bearing on the outcome of the incident,” added the spokesperson.

“Adrian and Jon are to be commended for their efforts in this incident – one that is truly reflective not only of the extended police family, but the other emergency services in Devon.”

SC Inspector Sue Newman was also honoured for her ‘second to none’ commitment to rural East Devon areas.

“During one duty last year she was one of the officers dealing with two sudden deaths. Sue must be commended for her composure and professionalism throughout both incidents,” added the force spokesperson.

If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Sidmouth Herald. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Latest from the Sidmouth Herald