A now retired police officer on duty the night two police officers died when their car was swept into Porthleven Harbour has handed over the proceeds of a book about the experience to the police Compassionate Fund.

James Moran was on duty ton December 12, 1978 when one of the worst storms in decades hit the South West. PC Joseph Childs and  PC Martin Reid tragically lost their lives.

Mr Moran's book Alpha Four Two No Response, about the fateful night the violent storm hit Cornwall and the subsequent search for his two missing colleagues.

Mr Moran is donating £400 of the book’s proceeds to the Devon and Cornwall Police Compassionate Fund which offers grants to widowed or surviving partners, police officer orphans and police officer members where there is a financial need.

He said: “This book is all about the night that two of my colleagues died on duty, therefore it is only right that I make a donation to the fund which helps the families of these and other officers killed or seriously injured whilst working to protect the public.”

Chief Constable Shaun Sawyer accepted the donation and said: “I would like to thank James for his donation to the Compassionate Fund. Contributions to the fund help us to support serving and retired colleagues and their families through very difficult periods in their lives.”

PC David James, secretary of the Widows Orphans and Compassionate Fund on behalf of Devon and Cornwall Police Federation said: “The fund, one of the oldest in the Country, is very grateful to Mr Moran for his kind and generous donation. The terrible loss of lives in December 1978 during one of the century’s most severe storms is an example even today of the importance of the fund”.

The book has PC Joseph Childs has previously spoken of her “disgust” at the book documenting that night.

Deidre Childs was married to Helston officer PC Joseph Childs, and has said the book is inaccurate and in “bad taste.”

Previously she told the Packet: “I am extremely upset and disgusted at the book. It is an insult to the dead.

“An ex policeman is making money on the back of two dead heroes. They were doing their job; they weren’t sightseeing in Porthleven.”

Mrs Childs said when she was approached by Mr Moran for information she initially believed it was for a chapter as part of his own autobiography.

She claims that when she realised his intention she asked Mr Moran not to go ahead with the publication.