Is this Edinburgh’s bravest cop? Glynn Powell to be honoured for 'heroic' actions saving drowning toddler

An Edinburgh police detective will be honoured this week for his ‘heroic’ actions saving a drowning toddler in the Capital.

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Murder squad detective Glynn Powell did not pause to think before he stripped to his underwear and ran to save the life of the three-year-old girl who has fallen into Leith Docks, in September 2020.

The 52-year-old has now risked his life three times in the line of duty and has been nominated for an award by the Scottish Police Federation to mark his bravery.

Detective Constable Glynn Powell jumped into the Water of Leith while off duty in September, 2020, to rescue a three-year-old girl who had fallen into the water.

In 2018 he tackled a man who launched a terror attack on the Scottish Parliament and in another incident, he stopped a man who threatened to throw his child out of a window.

Speaking to the Sunday Mail ahead of receiving a bravery award, Mr Powell said: “I’m no hero – it’s what any police officer or member of the public would have done in the same situation.”

The detective, who has 29-years police service under his belt, had just finished a shift in as part of Police Scotland’s Major Investigation Team when he heard a shout for help.

Rushing to the waterside at Albert Dock, Mr Powell saw the young girl floating underneath the water near the back of a building.


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Detective Constable Glynn Powell entered the Water of Leith while off duty to rescue a three-year-old child who had fallen into the river.

A woman had thrown life belts in but the child was unable to hold on to them and had gone under.

Knowing time was running out for the toddler Mr Powell stripped off and lowered himself into the water, swam to the motionless toddler and carried her back to safety.

Thankfully, the young girl soon regained consciousness and, after spending a night in the Royal Hospital for Sick Children, she was released having made a full recovery.


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I thought she was dead

Mr Powell said: “I heard a commotion out the back and saw a child motionless under the water 10 metres from the dockside.

“I ran from my flat out the back door, taking my clothes off as I did so until I was down to my underwear.

“There is a four or five-metre drop down to the water and I used the ladder to lower myself into the water to avoid hitting any debris which might have been lying under the surface.


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“I swam over to the girl and brought her back to the ladder. I thought she was dead at first and all I was doing was recovering a body from the water.

“However, as I climbed the ladder with the girl on my shoulder, she was suddenly sick. It was the first indication she was alive.

“By the time she was lain on the ground, she had regained consciousness. It was as if she had come back from the dead.”

Glynn has already received a bravery award from Police Scotland and a commendation from his local chief superintendent for the rescue of the young girl.


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He has now been nominated by the Scottish Police Federation for a further award.

The awards will be hosted by the BBC’s Judith Ralston and among those handing out awards will be Chief Constable Iain Livingstone.

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