Two police community support officers have been hailed as heroes after diving into a West Sussex pond to rescue an elderly couple who were in danger of drowning.
Two PCSOs were the first on the scene after a car plunged into a pond in Easebourne, near Midhurst, on Tuesday.
Sussex Police said the accident was ‘believed to be driver error’.
The Vauxhall Corsa accelerated into Benbow Pond, east of Midhurst on the A272, just after 3pm on Tuesday (October 20).
It rolled over as it did so and slowly began to sink into deep mud.
Sussex Police said local PCSOs Richard Boston and Heidi Hay were first on the scene and with the driver unconscious and his female companion holding his head above the rising water level, they went into the pond and tried to smash the rear window to gain access to the vehicle.
Their initial attempts were unsuccessful until PCSO Boston broke through using a garden spade.
They released the woman’s seat belt and with the help of a member of the public, got her safely on to the bank.
West Sussex Fire and Rescue colleagues assisted in releasing the man from the car and he was also carried to dry land.
The couple, both in their 80s and from Hindhead in Surrey, were not seriously injured.
Inspector Kris Ottery from the Chichester neighbourhood policing team, said: “There is no doubt in my mind that Richard and Heidi’s quick thinking and actions undoubtedly saved lives.
“While the water in the pond is relatively shallow, the mud is very deep and the car was slowly sinking, presenting an imminent danger of the trapped couple becoming immersed.
“We are very proud of what they did and happy to hear that the couple are recovering from their alarming ordeal.
“Unfortunately, Richard will be leaving us next month to become a police officer in Wiltshire - our loss, but certainly their gain!
“Both he and Heidi dried out the police station and were back on duty looking after the people of Midhurst on Wednesday morning.”
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