Not all heroes wear capes: Savannah police officers swim through freezing water to rescue woman

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SAVANNAH, GA – Officers from the Savannah Police Department ignored their own personal safety after a woman fell into freezing water on February 8th when they jumped in to save her.

The Savannah Police Department released body camera footage which shows the officers working to save the woman who had jumped into the water from the Forest River Bridge.

Officers and members of the fire department can be seen getting into the freezing water and swimming to the woman.

Officers responded to the area of the Forest River Bridge near Abercorn Street and Heroes Way just after 5 pm after receiving a report of a woman leaning over the bridge. As Savannah Police officers arrived on the scene, they could not locate her.

As the officers searched for the woman, they heard gurgling from underneath a nearby dock. As they investigated, they learned it was the woman who was clearly having a hard time breathing.

Savannah police officers worked to pull the woman out of the freezing water, but those efforts were unsuccessful. Knowing that it was only a matter of time until the woman would succumb to the freezing temperatures, Savannah police Sergeant Sharif Lockett and Officer William Fitzpatrick decided to act.

Officer Fitzpatrick was the first to get into the water and battle the strong currents. Officer Fitzpatrick said that he was having a hard time and finally resorted to pleading with the woman to let him save her. He said:

“I resorted to please…please let go.”

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Officer Fitzpatrick said that the woman was pulling back to get away from him, but he refused to give up on her. He said:

“When I was trying to get a hold of her, she was stuck, and I couldn’t get her loose. The dock was rustling with the water. She was pulling back, I was getting pulled under.”

Sergeant Lockett realized that Officer Fitzpatrick was having a hard time in the freezing water and strong current, so he decided to jump in and help. When he jumped in, he can be heard saying:

“Fitzy, where are you?”

The sergeant added:

“I felt like I was swimming in the water for five minutes when really I was only swimming for like 15 seconds. The water just felt so dense when my body was in it at least. I felt like I was swimming though jello.”

Sergeant Lockett and Officer Fitzpatrick were able to pull the woman to safety with the help of the fire department and local boaters in the area. The woman was pulled out of the freezing water and treated by emergency medical personnel that were on the scene.

Medics transported the woman to a nearby hospital where she was treated for exposure to the freezing water. The Savannah Police Department reported the woman is expected to recover from her injuries.

Savannah Police Chief Roy Minter released a statement on the incident and noted how proud he was of the officers jumping into the water to save a woman who was in distress. He said:

“We are so proud of all of the officers involved for their joint rescue actions. It was definitely a team effort for all officers, first responders, and citizens involved – from the extensive search to the rescue. We know that had these officers not responded and acted so quickly that this could have had a tragic outcome.”

After the hero’s rescue efforts, Sergeant Lockett noted how difficult it was to fight the strong currents and get the woman to safety. He said:

“For me, this is definitely one of the top 3 challenges I’ve faced since I’ve been on [the force].”

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Not all heroes wear capes: Officer praised for saving two different lives in 18 hours

CHATHAM COUNTY, GA – A Georgia police officer is being hailed a hero after saving two people’s lives within 18 hours.

The Chatham County Police Department announced on Facebook how one of their officers was able to save two different people in December of 2021. The hero officer, Joseph Robertson, was able to save the lives during two shifts.

The first incident occurred on the 29th just before 4 am when Officer Robertson was dispatched to a hit and run crash. Upon his arrival, he located one of the vehicles involved who advised they were not injured.

As he was speaking with the occupants of the first vehicle, Officer Robertson noticed that the second vehicle had crashed a short distance away from the scene. Officer Robertson ran toward the vehicle which was on its side and smoking.

Officer Robertson checked to see if there were any occupants inside the car that might be injured and noticed the driver trapped inside. As Officer Robertson worked to free the driver, the vehicle caught fire, endangering not only the driver’s life but his own.

Regardless of his own personal risk, Officer Robertson continued to work to free the driver who eventually caught fire.

Officer Robertson was able to free the driver who suffered burns over 80 percent of their body in the process. Somehow, Officer Robertson was not injured during the rescue attempt.

On the next evening, Officer Robertson was working when someone called 911 reporting that a woman had stopped breathing. Officer Robertson responded to the scene and was directed to the woman who he confirmed was not breathing but did have a faint pulse.

Assuming the incident may be drug-induced, Officer Robertson administered NARCAN that he had with him and began CPR efforts until medical services responded on the scene.

When paramedics arrived, they administered additional NARCAN doses while taking over CPR. The woman regained consciousness and was transported to a local hospital where she was able to recover.

Chatham County Police Department noted:

“That’s two lives saved in the span of 18 hours. If you ever need to know where to find a hero, we have them here at the Chatham County Police Department.

“Thank you for your extraordinary service, Officer Robertson. We’re proud to call you one of our own.”

While there is no mention of any interviews of Officer Robertson, odds are that he would not view himself as heroic.

Most cops that have been in similar situations and able to save lives never consider themselves that way, rather, they are happy that they just happened to be at the right place at the right time.

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