Florida officer who can't swim rescues drowning infant from retention pond, bodycam video shows

Jacksonville Officer Me'Atia Sanderson saved child's life, sheriff says

A Florida officer is being hailed a hero after she jumped into a retention pond to rescue a drowning infant, putting her own life at risk because she didn’t know how to swim, authorities said Tuesday.

Officer Me’Atia Sanderson with the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office was the first to arrive at the scene on June 9, the sheriff's office said. She was alerted that the infant was still in the water.

The sheriff’s office released bodycam video of the harrowing rescue for the first time on Tuesday.

"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.

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Officer Me’Atia Sanderson with the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office rescued a drowning infant over the summer.

Officer Me’Atia Sanderson with the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office rescued a drowning infant over the summer. (Jacksonville Sheriff's Office)

Video shows Sanderson, who joined the sheriff's office in 2019. sprinting into the water and make her way to the drowning child. After the child was pulled from the water, Sanderson continued life-saving efforts.

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Sanderson jumped into the pond without hesitation despite not known how to swim, authorities said.

Sanderson jumped into the pond without hesitation despite not known how to swim, authorities said. (Jacksonville Sheriff's Office)

"Come on, baby," the officer can be heard saying as she performs CPR. "Come on!"

The footage ends when two other officers arrive at the scene and take over CPR efforts.

Sanderson was credited with saving the child's life.

Sanderson was credited with saving the child's life. (Jacksonville Sheriff's Office)

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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. 

"Her actions, while putting her own life at risk, undoubtedly saved the child’s life," the department said.