Boston officer commended for water rescue
BOSTON (WHDH) -- A Boston police officer received an award of recognition for jumping into the frigid Boston Harbor to save a drowning woman.
Officer Edward Norton received the commissioner’s commendation for “his extreme bravery and selfless act.”
"There was no time to think really. I certainly can't stand on the side and watch her drown. It's really as simple as that,” said Norton.
Norton took off his gun, belt and shoes and made the 20-foot jump into the 40-degree water without a second thought.
Someone tossed him a rescue ring, which helped him keep the victim afloat.
“It really is a remarkable show of heroism, immediate action and courage that has made a difference this Christmas for a family,” said Commissioner Ed Davis, Boston Police Department.
Three Boston firefighters, two wearing survival suits also went into the cold water to help shortly before 1 p.m. Friday.
“I think she said I can't feel my arms, I can’t hold on, so I just told her, ‘don’t let go and help is on the way,’” said Norton.
A state police boat came by to pick up the victim and Norton too.
Witnesses told 7News the victim may have jumped and was in desperate need of help.
“She was crying, kind of hysterical, you know and even over there she was screaming. I saw bruises on her arms and knees and so-forth. I’ll tell you what, that cop is a hero. He didn’t even think twice about it” said Keith Young, a witness.
Norton has received some goodhearted ribbing from his colleagues.
“I have, yes. They actually have a picture of me, ah with my face, and David Hasselhoff's body,” said Norton.
His comrades may be calling him Baywatch Eddie now, but this is one Boston rescue which really made a difference.
After Officer Norton went to Mass General and got warmed up, he realized he had lost his wedding ring in the excitement.