Watch: Police officer who can’t swim jumps in pond to save baby

Florida Officer Me’Atia Sanderson was the first officer to arrive on the scene before realizing the child was still in the retention pond.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A Jacksonville police officer is being hailed a heroine for her swift decision-making to save a baby drowning in a retention pond.

The catch — she, too, couldn’t swim. 

The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office said on June 9, police officers responded to a report of an infant drowning on the west side of Jacksonville. Officer Me’Atia Sanderson was the first to arrive and was told the child was still in the retention pond, the sheriff’s office said in a Facebook post.

Without hesitation, the sheriff’s office said Sanderson entered the pond to save the child’s life even though she did not know how to swim herself.

“Oh, Lord,” Sanderson says in body camera footage released by the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office.

The video shows Sanderson rushing into the water to retrieve the child. She quickly began CPR until she was relieved by other responding officers. The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office said the baby did survive. 

In a letter written by Capt. Christopher Scott with the Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department, he recognized Sanderson’s “quick and decisive decision to go into the retention pond.”

“Her actions, while putting her own life at risk, undoubtedly saved the child’s life,” they said.

The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office shared the body camera footage on Tuesday, Nov. 22, to highlight the officer’s heroic actions during the Thanksgiving holiday.

“As we continue our #weekofthanks, we at the #JSO are thankful that we have officers like Ofc. Sanderson, who day in and day out, take on the challenges and dangers of this job,” the sheriff’s office said in the social media post.

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