Law enforcement officers are challenged daily in the performance of their duties; they face each encounter freely and unselfishly while answering the call to duty. In certain instances, their actions warrant special attention from their respective departments. The Bulletin also wants to recognize those situations that transcend the normal rigors of the law enforcement profession.
One evening, the Limestone County, Alabama, Sheriff’s Office received a call about a man drowning near a bridge on the Elk River and dispatched Deputies Richard Clanton and Lucas Ferrell to the scene. Deputy Jake Abernathy was on his way home from his shift but knew he would be closer than the dispatched officers, so he responded to the call.
The first on scene, Deputy Abernathy saw the young man struggling in the water, so he swam across the river to him and used a nearby log to bring him back to shore. The current was swift, and the victim kept losing consciousness, causing him to let go of the log and go downriver. Deputy Abernathy swam to the victim, grabbed hold of him, and pulled him as far as he could, but they both went under water.
At this point, Deputy Ferrell had arrived on scene and swam out to them when he saw they got separated and were having difficulty staying afloat. Deputies Abernathy and Ferrell gained control of the victim and brought him to the shoreline, where Deputy Clanton and other first responders pulled them from the water. The victim was transported to the hospital, where he made a full recovery.
Both deputies received a Limestone County Sheriff’s Office Life Saving Award for their rescue efforts.
Deputy Lucas Ferrell
Nominations for the Bulletin Notes should be based on either the rescue of one or more citizens or an arrest(s) made at unusual risk to an officer’s safety. Submissions should include a short write-up, a separate photograph of each nominee, and a letter from the department’s ranking officer endorsing the nomination. Submissions can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.