One day in Lake Placid, Florida, David Rhoden received a call that there was a boy trapped under a pontoon dock on Lake June, and the people there needed help. Being a police officer, especially in Florida, David Rhoden was surely aware of the statistics for children under the age of 15, who are especially at risk for drowning.
Officer Rhoden sped toward the emergency, and it turns out another officer’s body camera was rolling the entire time, catching the dramatic event on video. A group of boys had been swimming beneath the dock when one of them got stuck.
“I immediately thought the kid was pinned under water,” Officer Rhoden said.
He and a volunteer firefighter, Rafael Ramos, are seen trying to get under the pontoon to reach the child. Eventually they observed him trapped beneath, but with his head partly above the water line, looking terrified.
Officer Rhoden lifted the dock up and Ramos tried to free the child. With some effort, they finally managed to get him out to safety.
Ramos later said, “It was my first, it was a great learning experience. To be honest, I felt real good after that that he was ok that everything came out perfect. He said ‘thank you’ his mom said ‘thank you’ too.”
Officer Rhoden wasn’t expecting as good as an outcome as they got. “It’s not very often I get to see a good outcome like that especially where it could’ve been extremely bad,” Rhoden said. “If his head was underwater we would’ve been dealing with a fatality. So, it was nice to look back at it and see he was fine and I had a part in that.”
Luckily this young boy was rescued and the story ends happily! Thanks to Officer Rhoden and Firefighter Ramos for their unflinching dedication to keeping the members of their community safe.