In a dramatic water rescue, officers with the Kenosha Police Department in Wisconsin came to the aid of a young woman in distress who had intentionally entered the turbulent and cold waters of Lake Michigan on September 15.
A concerned passerby spotted the woman standing on the rocks near the water and immediately called the police. Upon arrival at the scene, officers saw the woman was in the midst of a mental health crisis and was about to make a rash decision.
Police body-worn cameras captured the intense moments that followed.
In the video footage, officers can be heard pleading with the distraught woman, who was teetering on the edge of a rock.
“Don’t do it! Don’t do it!” first responders shouted.
Despite their efforts to dissuade her, the woman slipped from the rock and into the frigid water. Without hesitation, a courageous police officer jumped into the lake after her while his colleagues worked together to formulate a rescue plan.
The woman screamed from the water, “Let me die! I’m not worth it!” and declared, “I wanna die!”
However, the officers persisted in their efforts to save her, and threw a rope into the water for the woman to grab hold of.
“You are worth it!” they shouted while attempting to persuade the woman to grab the rope.
The video footage, which was released by the Kenosha Police Department on YouTube, showed how the brave officers used the rope to reach the woman, despite the challenging conditions of choppy waters pushing her against the rocks. The rope was also used to secure an officer wearing a personal flotation device (PFD) who helped to pull the victim to safety.
After the rescue operation, both the woman and one of the officers were treated for hypothermia, according to the South West News Service (SWNS).
The Kenosha Police Department recognized the officers’ quick response and teamwork by posting the video on its Facebook page.
“Officers reacted quickly by utilizing department water rescue equipment and communication to help save the victim,” the department wrote in the description.
The surface water temperature in Lake Michigan near Kenosha during this time of year averages in the mid-60s, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) CoastWatch.