Hero cop pulls man from sinking car at Royal Portbury Dock
A BRAVE policeman dived into freezing waters at Royal Portbury Dock in the middle of the night to rescue a man from his rapidly sinking car.
PC Sean Kirk, of Bristol Port Police, received a distress call while on duty at the docks.
He raced to the scene to discover a Ford Mondeo had plunged into the deep dock and its terrified driver desperately trying to kick the door of his vehicle open.
The father-of-four quickly removed his shoes, grabbed a life ring and swam out to the stricken vehicle.
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Incredibly the hatchback boot of the car suddenly opened and PC Kirk was able to haul the desperate man to the dockside.
For his efforts PC Kirk, 35, is being awarded a Royal Humane Society testimonial personally signed and approved by the society's president, Princess Alexandra.
Describing that night on October 17 PC Kirk, who lives in South Gloucestershire with wife Learose, and children Aiden, six, Annabelle, four, Aliyah, two, and Adele, six months, told The Post: "I received a call to say somebody was in the dock. I leapt up and took my support officer with me.
"When we arrived I saw a car floating in the dock and a man screaming and trying to kick the door open.
"It was quite harrowing as the water is 30ft deep and is very murky. I thought to myself, blimey what do we do now?
"I told my colleague to get the hammer from the car which we have on board to break glass and took my shoes and jacket off while he contacted the emergency services.
"I grabbed a life ring and gave the rope it is attached to to my colleague and told him not to let go.
"I went into the water and the car started sinking really quickly.
"The bonnet went under and just the back end of the car was pointing out of the water.
"There was a grinding noise and lots of bubbles. It was awful and I was worried it might suck me under too.
"The pressure of the water seemed to crush the car like a can of beans and the boot popped open.
"I could see him scrabbling to get out so I swam over and pulled him from the car and swam to the dockside with him.
"It was extremely cold and he was clearly in shock."
The man involved has since fully recovered and thanked PC Kirk for his swift actions.
Ever modest, PC Kirk waited until he had returned home from his night shift to tell his wife what had happened.
"I got back and said I had had an eventful night," he said.
"I didn't want to wake her up or worry her so I just got into bed and apologised for having the washing machine on because I needed to clean my clothes.
"I think when I did tell her she was pretty impressed with me.
"I don't feel special. I think anyone would have been a bit haunted if they had just let it happen."
PC Kirk's actions on the night of October 17 was the second time that he had been called into action recently.
On August 9 he found himself having to deliver his daughter in a layby outside a Royal Mail sorting office.
He was driving his pregnant wife to Southmead Hospital when she realised their new baby was coming and they had to stop the car.
PC Kirk pulled into a layby off the A38 near the Royal Mail sorting office and Filton College to deliver Adele himself before continuing on with the drive to Southmead.
Sue Turner, director of communications for the Port of Bristol, said: "Port of Bristol police are very special and day to day they keep the port and everybody involved with it safe.
"What Sean did on that dark night in October was truly exceptional. He put his life at risk in order to save somebody else and we are deeply grateful.
"We are also delighted that he is being recognised for his actions."