Hero Hawke's Bay cop shrugs off praise

  • 14/09/2015
Hero Hawke's Bay cop shrugs off praise

The police officer who jumped into frigid Hawke's Bay waters to save a drowning woman has shrugged off praise, as he was only doing his job.

It's believed the intoxicated woman was sitting on the edge of a Napier wharf when she lost her balance and fell into the water at Ahuriri on Saturday night.

Constable Duane Coffin and his partner arrived to find her clinging to a rope attached to a fishing boat with one hand and her eyes shut.

He took off his stab resistant vest and jumped onto the boat to try and reach the woman but to no avail.

So, he jumped into the water.

"It was absolutely freezing - I didn't bother to take my boots or my uniform off and jumped straight in," he said.

"I swam around to where she was next to the pier and held her head above the water."

The woman was not responsive so Const Coffin trod water to keep her afloat and was helped by a local bouncer who also jumped into the sea to lend a hand.

They managed to stop her from drowning until a life ring was thrown into the water and she was safely pulled ashore.

The woman was taken to hospital and treated for mild hypothermia and discharged later that night.

Const Coffin also received medical attention for hypothermia, before changing into some dry clothes and enjoying a feed of McDonald's.

"We do this sort of thing almost every day - it's nothing special.

"Anyone else would have done the same and when you see someone in danger, you want to help."

He then continued on his shift at the West Quay bar area, stopping fights and brawls.

NZN