HAMPTON, Va. (WAVY) — A dramatic water rescue was caught on tape in Hampton. Officers came across a distressed man on a bridge, but when he jumped, they didn’t panic.
It was Aug. 18 and Hampton police cruisers roared towards Pembroke Bridge.
“I had just come off lunch and we got a call about a suicidal subject,” Officer Dylan Everett said.
Officer Everett was one of the first to get to the scene. He was joined by several officers, including patrol Officer Chris Seagle.
In body camera footage given to 10 On Your Side by Hampton police, you can see the situation unfold. A man — also a veteran — was in the middle of the bridge, threatening to jump.
“I believe [another officer] was talking to him, but he wasn’t really wanting to talk or anything like that,” Officer Everett said.
The man jumped, fully clothed, face down into the Hampton River. Officer Everett ran towards the water and went in after him.
“I donned the life jacket and I jumped in the water immediately and bee-lined and swam to the subject,” he said.
In the middle of the channel, Everett reached the man, who was face down and not moving. While treading water, the officer flipped the man over.
“He was conscious, he was looking at me, but he wasn’t breathing real well,” Officer Everett said. “He had a lot of foam coming out of his mouth and you could tell he had swallowed a lot of water.”
From the shore, Officer Seagle threw them a safety line.
“You have individuals on the shore pull, that way it takes the strain off the swimmers,” he explained.
Quickly, officers pulled them in and took the man to the hospital. Officer Everett said the rescue hit close to home for him because he, too, is a veteran.
“Our veterans need a lot of help, so the fact that I was able to give him another day, I mean, it felt good,” he said. “That’s what we do the job for. That’s it.”
Two weeks later, standing where they stood that afternoon, both officers said they didn’t think — they just did.
Officer Everett said the man stopped by to thank police a week later. He promised he was going to get help.