Midland GM picks up bravery award for Morecambe beach rescue

Midland Hotel’s Andy Lemm was recognised at a prestigious awards ceremony at The Cutlers’ Hall in Sheffield at the end of November, as the general manager picked up a silver medal at 2023’s National Police Chief’s Council Police Public Bravery Awards.

Lemm was one of four recipients to be given the award for their part in the rescue of a person in difficulty on Morecambe Bay with its notorious, fast-running tide.

Hosted by Chief Constable of South Yorkshire Police, Lauren Poultney, the ceremony honours brave members of the public who have placed themselves in dangerous situations, carrying out courageous and selfless acts to help protect others, defend their communities, prevent, and detect crime and actively assist the police.

On a cold and blustery day in Morecambe with rain and high winds. Andy and a group of guests having breakfast in the Midland’s Sun Terrace restaurant saw a person lying on the beach.

Whilst a fellow nominee out walking their dog called an ambulance, they all made their way towards the casualty, where the gravity of the situation became quickly apparent.

With water already lapping against her face, the group managed to help the woman to her feet and started walking and carrying her out of danger, walking through water that was rapidly cutting off their route back.

Joined by two officers from Lancashire Constabulary as they had to negotiate through water several feet deep, it took the group 25 minutes to get the woman to the safety of a waiting ambulance.

In that time, the beach they had walked across to get to her had become fully submerged. The actions of these four people meant that the woman could be treated and back home with her family that day.

Lancashire Constabulary’s Chief Constable Chris Rowley has commended the four on their bravery saying: “These awards are really special and having attended the ceremony and listened to the numerous stories of bravery by the public, I am really humbled.

“It is so great to see and recognise the very best of humanity. The actions of those four members of the public undoubtedly saved that woman’s life on that cold, January morning.

“I want to thank them for the incredible bravery that day. They acted quickly, and prioritized saving a vulnerable person, risking their own safety to do so.”

Andy Lemm recounted: “The evening was an amazing event with every Chief Constable from the country was in attendance. Each incident was read out in detail and the award winners invited up to be presented their award, many of the stories were of incredible bravery.

“I feel a little embarrassed as all I did was get someone off a beach before the tide fully came in! But it was an amazing honour to be given the award and listen to some of the amazing stories of the other winners.

“The added bonus was extra Dad points with my daughter, who is a Police Officer in Kent, she was very proud!”