Missing Teenager Found in Mardyke River Saved by PC

Dog handler finds a missing teenager in a freezing river and saves the youngster’s life, Essex Police reports.

PC Luke Pitchford, who is a dog handler at the Dog Section in Chelmsford, together with his police dog German Shepherd, Tex, were sent out to search for a missing teenager in North Stifford on April 24.

Luke and dog-Essex police copyright
Essex Police

The teenager was found sitting on a ledge in the water after the PD Tex followed a recent track for about 200 meters along the Mardyke River edge and down the river bank.

Luke went into the freezing water while continuously reassuring the person that he was there to help. The teenager was first resistant to the idea of coming out of the cold river, but after Luke’s persistence, finally gave in.

He reached the missing person within a couple of minutes and led them to the edge, where he immediately called for assistance of other officers and colleagues from the ambulance service.

Inspector Brad Dickel said: “Outstanding bravery was shown by Luke; he put his own safety aside to save the teenager’s life. Tex did a brilliant job in tracking the missing person, proving how invaluable our police dogs are.”

Pc Luke Pitchford has been a police officer for eight years and has worked in the Dog Section for 18 months.

The Police report can be found here:



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