A POLICE officer has been put forward for a bravery award after saving a girl from drowning while on holiday in Croatia.
Sergeant David Sutton, who works at Croydon Police Station, was staying in Dubrovnik in early August when his wife alerted him to an eight-year-old girl who was under water in the pool next to them.
The plucky off-duty sergeant dived into the water and realised the girl's – Delfina Alberdi from Norway – hair was caught in the pool's water filtering system.
He shouted to holiday makers to get him some scissors and pulled the girl free in a dramatic rescue.
Then Mr Sutton performed CPR for around 10 minutes with the help of hotel staff until an ambulance arrived and the girl was taken to hospital.
She recovered from a critical condition a few days later, prompting the father to call Mr Sutton a "miracle".
"I just did what anyone would do in that situation, but being a police officer definitely helped," said the sergeant. "We're used to dealing with critical incidents on a daily basis, and it's important to keep calm in that type of situation. The emergency life saving training we receive as police officers was also crucial.
"The girl had been under the water for quite some time, and I'm not sure she would have survived had we had to wait the ambulance staff to begin CPR. But the paramedics and staff at hospital in Split have to take the real credit."
Mr Sutton has now been nominated for a Royal Humane Society Award.