Members of the North Side Eastern Division Strike Team of the police department are being hailed as heroes after they saved the life of a drowning child. On Friday 24th June, sometime around 10:30 a.m., members of the North Side Eastern Division Strike Team were on mobile patrol when they received information of a child that went underwater and did not resurface. Officers quickly responded and jumped into the water and began their search. The child was found by Police after searching in the dark waters for about thirty seconds. Police immediately tried to resuscitate him by using CPR while rushing him to the K.H.M.H Accident and Emergency area. Due to the heroics of the police, the 11-year old male minor is alive and said to be recovering well. Initial investigations revealed that the 11-year old boy was along with his 14-year old female cousin and another female minor in the Marine Parade area at a pier when he jumped into the water even though he was instructed not to go in the water since he could not swim. As he jumped in the sea, he realized he could not touch, started struggling and quickly submerged. He was said to be in the water for not much more than four minutes in total. This morning the three officers involved got some kudos from their bosses – Commissioner of Police Allen Whylie and Officer Commanding Eastern Division (North), Assistant Commissioner Deziree Phillips. One of the rescuers, Police Constable Christian Cawich, gave us a first-hand account.
PC Christian Cawich, Rescued Drowning Child
“All I can say is that this all was teamwork. It all happened in seconds, we just dived, got the little boy and started CPR. When we got to the hospital the doctors did a good job and so we saved the life of the little boy. The only thing that was on my mind was for us to try and take him out of the water to see if he was still alive. Thank God that when we checked his vital signs he still had a heartbeat. We did CPR until we reached the hospital. It’s a good feeling to know that we saved a life. When we saw the kid starting to breath it felt good.”
According to ACP Phillips, police do train for the off-chance of events like this, but the decision to intervene speaks to their personal character
ACP Dezire Phillips, Officer Commanding Eastern Division(North)
“Well I think it all has to do with the respect they have for life and the level of motivation that they have. You have to be motivated to jump into the water, risking your own life, in order to safe somebody else’s life. Of course, they receive a lot of training and I am certain that in itself plays a vital role. It’s a spur on the moment thing that they take that initiative without waiting for anybody. Normally, we would call the coast guard to come in the picture but that’s the reason why we are commending them because they risked their life. They are not certified divers or certified swimmers but because they were stopped and told that a child went under the water that motivated them to try and save a life and we are happy that they did.”
P.C. Cawich says he and his fellow officers will pay the boy a visit – presumably including a stern talking-to about disobeying his elders.