Drama all in a day’s work for top cops who dive right in to dan­ger

South Western Times - - LETTERS TO THE EDITOR - Gor­don Tayler, South Bun­bury

LET me de­scribe to you a most un­usual, dra­matic, some­what com­i­cal and inspiring event off Bun­bury’s Back Beach about noon last Fri­day.

I was cy­cling along the beach prom­e­nade when I met up with two po­lice of­fi­cers try­ing to work out what to do about a fully-clothed per­son in the wa­ter, aim­lessly swim­ming in cir­cles about 500m off­shore. Con­cerned mem­bers of the public had no­ti­fied the Bun­bury Po­lice.

Po­lice­man Shaun (I don’t know his sur­name) and a fe­male off­sider were ob­vi­ously in a quandary about what steps to take. Be­ing a strong swim­mer, I of­fered to swim out to see if I could help the per­son.

It was im­me­di­ately ob­vi­ous to me that both po­lice of­fi­cers were not con­fi­dent swim­mers and they were pleased that there was some­one will­ing to head out there. We man­aged to quickly get a surf club board so I could have more con­trol of the sit­u­a­tion once I reached this swim­mer. Shaun – re­al­is­ing the po­ten­tial dan­ger for my­self and the pos­si­ble need to ne­go­ti­ate with this per­son – agreed to join me on the long pad­dle out, de­spite his dis­like for the ocean and swim­ming.

De­spite the drama, Shaun – with loads of good hu­mour and a gen­uine will­ing­ness to go right out­side his com­fort zone – quickly took off his gun belt and boots to ac­com­pany me out to the swim­mer. Then, in what seemed like the mid­dle of the ocean, he del­i­cately ne­go­ti­ated a good out­come and we all re­turned safely to shore.

This ex­pe­ri­ence has com­pelled me to write and ex­press my ap­pre­ci­a­tion of po­lice of­fi­cers like Shaun who must reg­u­larly go out­side their com­fort zone to make our com­mu­ni­ties safer for ev­ery­one’s ben­e­fit.

Upon ex­it­ing the wa­ter in his thor­oughly soaked po­lice uni­form, Shaun com­mented how glad he was the me­dia wasn’t present to cap­ture the can­did mo­ment.

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