Police Officer Jumps Into Freezing Water To Save Two Teenagers From Drowning

Our police officers are going above and beyond to make sure that we are safe and well even during the coronavirus crisis.

Officer Luis Salas of the Canton Police Department in Canton, Georgia, responded to a call about two teenagers in distress at 6:30 p.m. April 21.


The boy and girl were trapped in the river at Etowah River Park and were clinging to branches trailing in the water, as they waited desperately for help.

When Salas arrived on the scene, he removed some of his excess gear and got into the river, swimming to where they were. “The both of them are holding on to this branch, and they’re scared and they’re panicking, so I tell them calmly, ‘Hey, I’m Officer Salas, I’m here to help you,’” he said in an interview posted on Facebook by the Canton Police Department.

Congratulations to Officer Luis Salas for successfully completing our Field Officer Training (FTO) program!

Posted by Canton Police Department, GA on Wednesday, November 8, 2017

The young woman told Salas she didn’t know how to swim, and Salas calmed them down and reassured them that he would help.

Soon other officers arrived and threw a rope and a buoy to the trio stranded in the river. Salas made the girl take the buoy and proceeded to get her out first.

While on the way out of the river, the buoy got caught on a branch, but he snapped it off and they continued on their way. After the girl was rescued, the boy was freed from the current as well, thanks to Salas’ actions.

If you have a moment today, please join us in congratulating Officer Luis Salas on his second work anniversary with our…

Posted by Canton Police Department, GA on Friday, August 9, 2019

The teens were given blankets to keep warm and the girl spent a short time at a nearby hospital.

Salas said the water was “freezing” but thankfully, he was trained to deal with such rescue missions. “I’ve been in the Marine Corps, so I have taken swimming qualifications many times, and it’s always been in cold water. Always,” he said.

The incident has caused many people to thank the police department and Salas’ involvement.

Canton Officer Rescues Teens From River

Please help us thank Officer Luis Salas for his heroic action!

Incident Information:

Where: Etowah River Park (canoe ramp) 600 Brown Industrial Pkwy, Canton, GA 30114
When: Tuesday, April 21, 2020, at approximately 6:30 pm.

Posted by Canton Police Department, GA on Monday, April 27, 2020

“On behalf of the Canton Police Department, we thank you Officer Salas and your team for the heroic efforts,” a Canton Police Department spokesman said.

“Honored to know the amazing Officer Salas — and always proud of Canton PD,” wrote one commenter on the department’s post. “Thank you!”

“Great job Salas along with awesome support from your fellow Officers,” wrote another. “Proud to have served with you!”


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