A Powys officer who made a daring rescue of a woman and a dog who fell 20 feet down a dam in the Elan Valley has been nominated for a police bravery award.

Rhodri Jones, 45, a police officer at Dyfed Powys Police has been nominated for the National Police Bravery Awards 2024 after rescuing a woman from a precarious sluiceway after she had retrieved her dog from an outcrop along the face of the Caban Coch Dam in the Elan Valley.

On the morning of August 19, last year, Rhodri was dispatched to the scene after a distressed caller reported to 999 that his two Golden Retrievers had fallen over the edge of the reservoir, alongside colleague PC Peter Evans.

“It was the usual low-key start of a Sunday morning before the call,” said Rhodri.

“I don’t think the seriousness of the situation was understood at first, because the initial direction was to reassure the caller and victims and wait for Mountain Rescue.”


However, when they reached the scene they found that one dog appeared to be dead and the other was injured and stranded on an outcrop.

This had led to the caller’s partner to jump down to a nearby sluice. She had “significant face and arm injuries” from the descent, and had hold of the terrified dog.

But help was 45 minutes away and the pair began to worry about the woman and her dog who they thought were “fighting a losing battle” against the potential 92-foot drop.

“It got to a point where we knew we couldn’t just wait it out anymore,” said Rhodri. “Not only were the victims stuck on a small platform, without any room for manoeuvre, they were each struggling with their injuries."

The officers forced open the door to an overflow chamber, where Rhodri lowered himself down onto the chamber’s gantry and leapt onto the edge of the sluice, which was extremely slippery after recent rainfall.

He belly-crawled along the sluiceway until he could reach the victims with a throwline, pulling the pair to a safer position.

“It was a team effort between Pete and me,” said Rhodri. “He remained on the gantry handling one end of the throwline we used, while I made the decision to drop down from the gantry to the sluice.

“Not that we had a big discussion about it – we just acted as quickly and decisively as possible.”

They then waited for assistance before the woman and the dog were taken for medical treatment and both have recovered from the worst of their injuries.

Rhodri has already received a Superintendent commendation before an invitation to the National Bravery Awards ceremony in London. Rhodri will attend the ceremony, to be held in July, with his wife, Ira.

“I was so pleased when I found out I was nominated. There’s so much good work done by police officers everywhere – you can’t recognise everyone, so I’m just thrilled to be one of the few that have been,” added Rhodri.

Dyfed Powys Police Federation chair Gareth Jones said they “could not be prouder” of Rhodri’s actions.

“Rhodri’s nomination is fully deserved,” said Mr Jones. “The way he acted with calmness, yet determination, in circumstances which must have been unbearably distressing for the victims is a true measure of bravery.

“He has represented the Federation and the Police Force impeccably and we wish him our best for the National Awards ceremony. Whatever happens, though, we already could not be prouder of him.”

This year's National Police Bravery Awards, which are organised by the Police Federation of England and Wales (PFEW), will be taking place on July 11 in London.