TWO police officers who risked their lives to rescue a woman trapped underwater in her car have been nominated for a national Police Bravery Award.

Next week will see officers from across the UK honoured for their bravery and dedication at the Police Federation’s Bravery Awards, on Thursday at Plaisterers’ Hall in London.

Among them will be Gwent Police officers Sgt Gareth Lougher, 31, and Sgt Stephen Drayton, 33, who risked their lives to save a drowning woman in April 2011.

The woman’s car had been hit by another car and shunted down a reen in Heron Way in Duffryn, Newport, where it overturned and landed roof down in the brook.

The car rapidly filled with water and the driver found herself trapped inside.

The officers, who had arrived before the rest of the emergency services, jumped into the water and began trying to free the woman, who was struggling to find pockets of air.

After failing to open the door due to the amount of water pressing on both sides, one of the officers grabbed a metal bar, smashed the window, removed the pane and pulled the woman from the car.

Jeff Maps, chairman of Gwent Police Federation, said: “One can only imagine the panic and terror the lady went through during those long minutes.

“Had it not been for the quickness of thought and tenacity of Sergeants Drayton and Lougher she may well have drowned as people looked on helplessly.”

A Police Federation spokesman said: “Both officers displayed incredible bravery entering water known to be dangerous, and without fear of their own safety put that of the trapped woman first. Their resourcefulness and quick thinking undoubtedly saved her life.”