Two off-duty officers save 5-year-old boy drowning in river after he was swept away by heavy currents


WENATCHEE, WA– The heroic actions of two off-duty police officers helped rescue a 5-year-old boy who was being swept away by the heavy current of the Wenatchee River.

Tragedy AvertedKent Police Detective R. Gilcrist and King County Sheriff's Deputy B. Johnson worked together to save…

Posted by Kent Police Department on Monday, August 3, 2020

Kent Police Department (KPD) Detective Rick Gilcrist and King County Sheriff’s Office (KCSO) Deputy B. Johnson were vacationing with their families near the river when they saw a child floating down the river by himself in a panic.

The young boy was floating downstream in the fast moving and frigid water. Without hesitation, both men jumped into the river to help save the boy. They fought the current and were able to reach the child and pull him safely to shore. 

A witness of the heroic event said:

“They calmed the panicking child in the middle of the rapidly flowing river for a few minutes, fighting the current and swimming to the shore until the father arrived.”

The witness added:

“The river was moving at such a swift pace, I have no doubt that without decisive action, quick thinking, and lack of hesitation these two men showed, while others stood by and watched, the child would have been swept away and ultimately drowned.”

“The actions of both of these men deserve to be recognized and commended as they reflect greatly upon not only their own personal character, but that of the departments’ that employ them.”

According to the Kent Police Facebook post, Gilcrist will receive a life-saving award for his efforts. The post reiterated:

“We are thankful that even when off-duty, our officers regularly show the best character, the bravest actions, and a compassion for those in need. This near tragedy was averted by their selfless character leading to swift actions. Their character is why they became police officers in the first place.”

In July, an off-duty police officer saved a 4-year-old girl from drowning. In Rockland County, New York, a mother gratefully thanked Clarkstown police officer Paul Munding for saving her daughter from a possible drowning.

The mother, Carly Shaffer and officer Munding were both attending a neighborhood pool party when Ella, 4, was briefly left unattended on the pool’s shallow stairs, crying out for help. Shaffer said:

“My heart was in my stomach as I was running to her, watching her bob up and down in the water, choking, but Munding got there first.”

She said he dove straight into the pool, still wearing his shoes and pulled Ella to safety. She said:

“He did it for a kid he didn’t even know. A kid he’s not related to. A kid he’s never met. He saved my kid’s life and I have no idea how to ever thank this man. She was taking in water and surely would have drowned.”

In a Facebook post, Shaffer detailed the scary events as well as the heroic actions of officer Munding, calling him a hero and sharing her appreciation.

Great job Officer Munding! You’ve made the department very proud.

Posted by Clarkstown Police Department on Sunday, July 5, 2020

In March, an off-duty police officer saved a 7-year-old from drowning at a pool party. According to WQAD8, Officer Whitni Pena of the Mustcatine Police Department was awarded the life saver award for her heroic actions.

Officer Pena performed CPR until the paramedics arrived. The child, Kaysen Simonsen was taken to Iowa City and given a clean bill of health. Officer Pena has not stopped checking in on him since the incident. Simonsen said:

“She was texting me at the hospital and she said, ‘there was definitely a guardian angel there’ and I said, yeah that was you.”

Officer Pena got to see Simonsen again. She said:

“He gave me a big hug and said thank you. You could just see the light in his eyes.”

In Nassau County, an off-duty police officer helped save the life of an 80-year-old woman. The elderly woman fell into the water and got trapped under a dock at the Wantagh Park Marina. The off-duty officer was walking by as the woman was starting to drown.

The off-duty officer ripped up the boards of the dock and held the woman’s head above water while he waited for more help. The elderly woman was alert and conscious when she was taken to the hospital.

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Here is another article from Law Enforcement Today about heroic actions of off-duty police officers who continue to protect and serve:

COCOA BEACH, FL – Last Thursday, July 16, an off-duty Cocoa Beach Police Officer saved a little boy from almost being attacked by a shark.

The shark appeared to be a juvenile white tip shark. The boy was boogie-boarding when Officer Adrian Kosicki noticed a shark swimming dangerously close to the boy. Adrian immediately ran into the water to pull the boy, who was unaware of the shark, to safety.

The Cocoa Beach Police & Fire posted the video on their facebook page and said:

“Adrian made the decision to quickly enter the water and pull the boy from the surf as the shark began to get dangerously close.”

Adrian was out with his wife for a walk on the pier when they noticed the boy and the shark.

Bystanders shouted:

“Hey, buddy! Hey, there’s a shark right there. There he is!”

Adrian, the quick-thinking officer, jumped into the shallow waters and pulled the boogie-boarding boy to safety. The shark was within a couple feet of both Adrian and the boy.

It was difficult to determine the species of shark at first. The Cocoa Beach Police Department said:

“We’re certainly not marine biologists, educated and trained to differentiate between the various species of sharks, their respective feeding habits, and aggressiveness near swimmers. We just do what we do best – protect the public from harm.”

Both Adrian and the boy were not harmed and are doing fine after the close-call.

Cocoa Beach Police & Fire thanked and commended Adrian for his quick action:
“Thanks to Adrian, we’ll never know what that shark’s intentions were, and that little boy will forever have a pretty cool story to tell. Great job!”

LAD Bible News reported that the International Shark Attack File – who would know what type of shark the boy was saved from- provided statistics stating that Florida is the leader in shark attacks and New Smyrna Beach is the world capital of shark attacks.

Cocoa Beach Police Officer Adrian Kosicki is being called a hero for pulling the boy to safety.

The boy’s name was not reported.

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Here’s another story of an officer saving a life brought to you by Law Enforcement Today.

 A Sterling Heights police officer recently saved a baby girl choking on something blocking her airway. 

Video shows the officer pulling up to a home and telling dispatch that the family was approaching him in the driveway. Officer Cameron Maciejewski exited his vehicle and asked what was going on. He was met with a frantic mother, crying hysterically, and rightfully so.

He said, “OK. OK. Calm down. Let me see the baby.” 

He then took the child and performed back thrusts in an effort to clear the obstruction and get the infant breathing again.  

After only a few seconds of performing the blows, the baby girl coughed up the obstruction, and began to cry. The officer, who remained calm and in control informed the family that she was going to be just fine. 

“She’s got a pulse and she is breathing.”

The baby was then turned over to the Sterling Heights Fire Department who transported the baby to the hospital for evaluation.

In a statement, the department said:

“If it wasn’t for Officer Maciejewski’s quick, calm, lifesaving actions, the outcome of this incident could have been tragically different. Not only did the officer save the baby, but the officer did an outstanding job consoling the family.”

CBS News reported:

“In a second video posted by Sterling Heights Police Department on Wednesday, Maciejewski said it was ‘good training’ that gave him the skills he needed to save the baby. 

“‘Once I arrived, training kicked in and I was able to relax a little bit and focus on the health of the baby and blackout what was happening with the parents and family around me,’ he said.” 

All in a day’s work for the men and women of law enforcement, even as they have politicians and people in their own communities trying their hardest to defund them. 

Had there been no law enforcement in Sterling Heights, Michigan, one has to wonder if the outcome might have been drastically and sadly different.

While this type heroism rarely makes the national media spotlight, day after day, night after night, members of our emergency responder community save lives. 



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