A former Helston police officer has been left overwhelmed by the response to his book written in memory of two colleagues.

In Alpha Four Two No Response, retired PC Jim Moran documents for the first time the storms of December 1978, which caused the deaths of PC Joseph Childs and PC Martin Reid when their car was swept into Porthleven Harbour.

Mr Moran said: “I was the only police officer on full night duty and therefore the only one that knew the whole story from beginning to end. I was the one who realised that I couldn’t find them and the one that raised the alarm.”

He was also the officer that found PC Reid under the bow of a boat, finding PC Childs just moments after another officer.

“I’ve heard many stories about [that night] through the years and none of them are right. I thought it would be nice to put the story as it was. I thought, ‘The only person that can really write that is me’,” said Mr Moran.

Expecting to sell a handful, Mr Moran could not be more surprised when the first print run of 100 books sold out.

The second print run of 50 is also selling well and the retired officer said: “I am really, really pleased with the response. I’ve had a number of comments and emails from different people saying they have read it and felt it very moving and was a great tribute.”

The book, by Palores Publications, costs £4.95 and Mr Moran will make a donation to the Devon and Cornwall Constabulary Widows’, Orphans’ and Compassionate Fund from the proceeds.

It is on sale at Loravon gift shop in Wendron Street, Helston Museum, the Custom House Gallery and Albatross Art Shop in Porthleven, and The Grange near Gweek.