ORLANDO, Fla. - The Orlando police officer who rescued a boy swimming in a lagoon in South Florida while he was off-duty was honored on Monday almost a year later.
Retired Officer Izzy Hernandez was recognized with the Jim Young Good Samaritan Award after his family outing in Jupiter Beach in 2011 turned into an unexpected rescue.
Hernandez said he and his two children were walking near a lagoon when they noticed a 10-year-old boy yelling in Creole, frantically pointing at rocks.
"That's when I saw the back of the swim trunks of a small child and his head was into the mangrove face down," said Hernandez.
Hernandez said his two children ran for help and he started trying to resuscitate the boy.
"Gave him a couple quick breaths and started wading and swimming up the channel," he said. "Every 5-7 yards I would stop and give him a couple of quick breaths."
Another person helped Hernandez get the 5-year-old to shore, where EMTs took over. Hernandez said the boy's family was at the beach to celebrate a birthday and called the 10-year-old boy who ran to Hernandez for help the hero.
"He's the one that needs gratification. He's the hero," Hernandez said. "He didn't leave his friend."
Hernandez said the 5-year-old's family was at the park celebrating a birthday.