Wellington’s Detective Steve Harwood will today receive a Royal Humane Society bravery award for the dramatic sea rescue of a distressed woman in Houghton Bay last year.
The Society’s Bronze medal is to be presented to Detective Harwood by Wellington Mayor Mark Blumsky at the start of this afternoon’s last full Wellington City Council meeting for this term.
Detective Harwood was on patrol in Island Bay with colleague Detective Carol Cody on 8 November last year when they heard from Police Central Communications about a woman standing on rocks at the edge of the surf.
As the officers neared the scene, the woman went into the water. Steve ignored the biting southerly, dashed along the jagged Houghton Bay rocks plunged into the surf and plucked the woman to safety.
Conditions were so bad that at times Detective Cody, who was providing a running radio report to Central Comms, lost visual contact with the pair. A two-metre swell was running and the combined breaking waves, tide and Steve’s determined grip dumped both Steve and the woman onto the rocks. Fortunately no-one was injured.
Superintendent Gary Smith, acting Wellington District Commander, says the bravery award is richly deserved.
"Steve did a fantastic job in a difficult and dangerous situation. We’re very proud of him and it’s great to know that the Royal Humane Society is recognising his bravery with the award of a Bronze medal."
Media note: You’re welcome to attend the presentation by Wellington Mayor Mark Blumsky to Detective Harwood. The presentation will be made at 4pm, today, Wednesday, 10 October, at the start of the full council meeting. Venue: 1st floor, Wellington City Council Chambers, Wakefield Street.