Tweed cop's rescue effort may earn bravery award

Police save woman from surf at Fingal Heads.
Police save woman from surf at Fingal Heads. John Gass

TWEED Police Senior Constable Mathew Huckle swam at least 250m out to sea to save an injured woman last Friday afternoon, even though he was not trained in water rescues.

And now the heroic officer is taking a well deserved holiday, while his colleagues discuss the distinct possibility of a bravery award nomination.

"His actions were highly, highly commendable and tremendously courageous," Tweed Byron LAC crime manager Detective Inspector Brendon Cullen said. "Under circumstances where he probably shouldn't have gone in the water, he went in. The conditions were treacherous and he did what even lifeguards were reluctant to do.

"All of his colleagues are extremely proud of his efforts."

According to Ambulance NSW, the woman jumped into the ocean at Fingal Head in a self-harm attempt. Suffering severe injuries, including a knee fracture, the woman was swept out to sea and authorities scrambled to mobilise a rescue effort.

After hearing jet skis would take 15 minutes to arrive, Sr Cons Huckle stripped out of his uniform and leapt into action, without a second thought for his own wellbeing.

"The ambos said she probably wouldn't be here today if it wasn't for Matty," duty officer Inspector Darren Steel said.

"That photo of him taking her out of the surf with a grimace on his face says it all really."

Help is available

If you need help call: Lifeline (24 hours):13 11 14

SANE Helpline (mental illness information, support and referral):1800 18 7263

MensLine Australia (24 hours):1300 78 99 78

Kids Helpline (24 hours, ages 5-25 years): 1800 55 1800

Beyond Blue:1300 22 4636

Topics:  editors picks tweed police

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