Police officers in Iowa are being lauded after body-camera footage captured their tremendous grit and strength as they worked to rescue two individuals trapped in churning, powerful dam waters.
Police were called to the Scott Street Bridge in Des Moines on Monday at around 9:30 a.m. after reports of people yelling for help.
“They arrived to find that an inflatable raft had capsized in the river, and two people were trapped in the turbulent waters of the dam, at times being pulled below the surface of the water,” the department’s post said. “Officers, assisted by an anonymous good Samaritan, quickly entered the river and began rescue efforts.”
In a police incident report filed on Monday, Officer Brian T. Oswald said he was the first on the scene.
Osward said when he arrived at the dam, a couple, ages 44 and 49, were in the water and wearing life jackets but “both individuals’ heads kept getting sucked under the water.” The woman’s vest was also not properly applied, he said.
With the woman repeatedly getting stuck in the undertow of the dam, Oswald said he decided to rescue her first. Body-camera video showed him holding onto the rope with the woman desperately trying to hold onto the other end.
As he pulled her over the edge of the dam, another officer held onto his duty belt to prevent him from falling over, he said.
As the woman was pulled to safety and checked by first responders, Oswald said another set of officers turned their attention to the man and rescued him, WTNH reports.