A Maryland Natural Resources police officer is being praised for saving a suicidal woman who jumped from a pier into a river near Chesapeake City.
Police said NRP Ofc. Jacob Gerczak, who is a five-year veteran, was on patrol at approximately 5:20 p.m. October 31 when he saw a woman standing on a pier, overlooking the Bohemia River, the Kent County News reported Thursday.
A few moments later, she leapt into the river, according to police.
Gerczak immediately exited his patrol vehicle and ran to the end of the pier where he saw the woman’s head was barely visible above the water, her eyes closed, and she was having difficulty breathing.
“In full uniform the officer immediately dove into the rough waters of the Bohemia River, and as he swam closer to the woman and grabbed hold of her, she told him she no longer wanted to live. Gerczak was determined to save her from making a disastrous decision,” the Department of Natural Resources said in a news release.
As they were in the cold water for approximately 15 minutes, Gerczak told the woman her loved ones did not want anything bad to happen to her and he also wanted her to be alright and was there to help.
“The officer successfully removed her from the water by holding her and swimming back to the pier, after which she became more aware and began to cry. He continued to comfort and communicate with her until local emergency personnel arrived to provide her with medical attention,” the agency continued.
Gerczak later explained that even though he had received similar calls throughout his career, it was his first time diving into the cold waters to rescue someone, adding he was grateful to have been there to save a life.
“We are fortunate to have selfless officers in our agency that would put their lives on the line to save others,” NRP Col. Adrian Baker stated. “I commend Officer First Class Gerczak for his selfless and swift action that literally saved a woman’s life.”
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