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Hamilton officers recognised for bravery

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 28/07/2016

Three Hamilton police officers are due to be recognised for their bravery during rescues on the Waikato River.

Hamilton Mayor Julie Hardaker will on Friday present awards from the Royal Humane Society, which bestows bravery awards on those who risk their own lives to save the lives of others.

Constable Roger Cvitanich will receive a bronze medal after he rescued a woman who jumped off Cobham Drive Bridge on a winter's night in 2014.

He swam out into the fast-flowing river and helped the woman to shore.

Constable Mark Harrison will also get a bronze medal after he rescued a teenage girl from drowning in the river in 2015.

The officer saw the girl submerge and removed his protective vest to jump into the water and save her. She was taken to hospital in a serious condition.

Constable Christopher Polglase will get a certificate of merit after he tried to rescue an elderly man who fell into the river in 2014.

He entered the river and swam out to the man, who was unresponsive. The pair drifted 250 metres down the river but once ashore a doctor confirmed the man had died.

Acting District Commander Greg Nicholls said the officers had just moments to make decisions during the rescues.

"In choosing to risk their own lives by entering the dangerous local waters, two lives were saved, and two families were saved from the grief of losing a loved one," he said.

"I am very proud of the actions of all three police officers and it's an honour to witness them being recognised for their bravery."

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