As a parent, there are many things you fear when it comes to your children. Typically, one of those fears is being helpless when your child is in a life-threatening situation. In Miami, a father found himself in this very situation. The man was driving when he was involved in a car crash that landed him and his 3-year-old son in a canal.
The driver of the car and several good samaritans repeatedly attempted to get the child out of the car, which was mostly underwater, but they were unsuccessful. By the time the police arrived on the scene, the car was nearly fully submerged with the child still strapped in his carseat inside. The officers on the scene knew they had to act fast since the child at this point had been underwater for quite some time.
Several of the officers were fathers and felt immense pressure to get the child out while also trying to reign in their emotions. “Somebody had to make the choice to get in, and I just acted,” Officer Emmanuel Walton III explained in the video.
The car was located under a bridge in murky water so it was difficult for rescuers to see the little boy. Officer Walton explained that he had to search by feel until he could find the boy’s car seat. Once the seat was located, Walton yanked on it in an effort to free the child.
“I pulled it as hard as I could, because I couldn’t figure out where the seatbelt was … luckily it broke off,” Walton said in a press conference.
After Watson broke the car seat free, the child floated to the surface, which gave the officer the opportunity to grab him and pass him to officers waiting on the embankment. But the embankment was so steep that they had to get the unconscious boy to a flat area to perform CPR. The sweet sound everyone was waiting for happened after the boy received chest compressions.
“When the baby started crying, I started crying too, because it was the best cry I’ve ever heard in my life,” Officer Junior Clervil said.
The entire rescue was caught on body cam footage. Watch the heart-stopping video below: