Sydney officer praised after river rescue

By Perry Duffin

SYDNEY, Oct 16 AAP - The police officer who plucked a woman from her car seconds before it sank in Sydney's Georges River has been hailed as a hero.
The 32-year-old woman drove her black hatchback into the river at Georges Hall on Sunday afternoon after police tracked her down after being called over a domestic violence incident.
Dramatic vision, shot from the police helicopter, shows officers rushing into the water and swimming towards the sinking car.
Chief Inspector David Small reached the locked driver's side door first and, unable to gain entry, smashed the window with a hammer.
"Cars aren't designed to float so I was concerned it was going down," he told reporters on Monday.
Chief Insp Small reached in to grab the woman and saw the car's cabin rapidly filling with water.
The woman's leg became trapped and began pulling her under.
But Chief Insp Small, his arm cut by the shattered glass, pulled the woman out just seconds before the car nosedived under the water.
"Lucky we were able to get her out and bring her back to shore safely," he said, noting the rescue was a team effort with the other police at the scene.
Bankstown Commander Detective Superintendent Scott Whyte paid tribute to his officers' heroism.
"There is no doubt in my mind that woman would have died if not for the actions of all police involved but particularly Chief Inspector David Small," he said.
The woman was possibly drug affected and trying to avoid officers, police say. She was taken to hospital and will be questioned once released.

National domestic violence helpline: 1800 737 732 or 1800RESPECT. In an emergency call triple-zero.

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