Dramatic Footage Shows Police Officer Who’s Not ‘That Good of a Swimmer’ Save Girl Drowning in Deep Water

Dramatic Footage Shows Police Officer Who’s Not ‘That Good of a Swimmer’ Save Girl Drowning in Deep Water

Officers with the Tacoma Police Department in Washington were being hailed as heroes after they jumped into a lake to save a drowning 15-year-old girl.

“Every single one of us just stopped what we were doing and ran toward the lake,” Officer Steve O’Neal told KIRO.

“What we were doing” was eating lunch nearby, according to KIRO. Bodycam footage released by the department showed multiple officers running to the scene while sirens sounded in the background.

Neither the department nor KIRO said why the girl, whose name was not released, was in the water.

O’Neal said the water — which KIRO’s reporter described as “frigid” — was about 10 feet deep where the girl was, and that she was unconscious and starting to slip beneath the surface.

O’Neal wasted no time, jumping into the water of Wapato Lake and making his way out to the teen.

“We get trained to just act,” he said. “Our who goal is to save lives and protect lives.”

O’Neal said it was his “first water rescue,” and also told reporters that he’s not “that good of a swimmer” and had never worked as a lifeguard.

He went underwater, got his hands on the unresponsive girl, and pushed her toward shore and into the hands of other officers, who got her to shore.

And he did this all while wearing full gear.

The girl’s father stopped by the TPD to express his gratitude, and the department said O’Neal and two of the other officers involved in the rescue would receive medals. O’Neal, however, said he only did what any other TPD officer would have done.

“Going in there was just instinct and I know that anyone in our department would have done the same,” he told KIRO. “I think it’s obviously being a parent and being a police officer. I think at the end of the day you’re obviously responsible for that person.

“There’s no hesitation,” he added. “You just protect and you save.”

And save he did: The girl was taken to a nearby hospital and was expected to recover.


This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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