Officer Who Can’t Swim Jumps Into Retention Pond to Rescue Infant

An officer with the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office risked her life to rescue a drowning infant after jumping into a retention pond even though she can’t swim.

Officer Me’Atia Sanderson who joined the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office in 2019 was the first to arrive at the scene on June 9. JSO has now released her bodycam video which recorded the entire incident the sheriff’s office said.

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In the video, Officer Sanderson can be seen running towards the retention pond while repeatedly asking witnesses where the baby was. She was told that the infant was still in the water somewhere. Sanderson scanned the pond and finally spotted the infant who was under the water.

Without hesitation, Sanderson entered the water and headed towards the infant. She pulled the infant from the water to the shore, and then started CPR, and mouth to mouth resuscitation. Sanderson can be heard saying repeatedly “Come on, baby,” as she performs CPR.

The bodycam footage ends when two other JSO officers arrive at the scene and take over life-saving efforts.

Officials with the sheriff’s office said Sanderson has been recognized for the impact that her “quick and decisive decision to go into the retention pond” made.

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“Her actions, while putting her own life at risk, undoubtedly saved the child’s life,” “Sanderson, who does not know how to swim herself, without a second’s hesitation, entered the pond to retrieve the child and performed CPR until she was relieved by other responding officers,” the sheriff’s office said.

Folks, please keep an eye on your children! I was dispatched to a child drowning in a pool during my field training. The boy was 8 years old. He survived but suffered severe brain damage as he was underwater for an estimated 5-8 minutes.

Remember, Florida is full of ponds, lakes, and swimming pools.


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