RAF hero to receive top honour from the Queen

An airman from the Royal Air Force is to be awarded a top honour by the Queen for saving a woman's life in the Thames. Senior Aircraftman Shane Mitchley, who is based as RAF Waddington in Lincolnshire, will receive the Queen’s Commendation for Bravery for his act of courage, as well as a prestigious award from the Royal Humane Society.

SAC Mitchley was part of a team visiting London to learn about the RAF’s history when they heard cries for help from a woman in the Thames near Westminster Bridge.

At great risk to himself SAC Mitchley dived in to the treacherously choppy waters, swimming against a strong current to reach the woman while she struggled to keep her head above the water. At one point he had to dive beneath the water to secure the woman to a life buoy so that other RAF team-mates could haul her to safety.

The drama unfolded near Westminster Bridge

In addition to the Queen’s Commendation for Bravery, SAC Mitchley is to receive the Royal Humane Society’s prestigious Testimonial on Vellum, signed by HRH Princess Alexandria, for his actions.