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Police sergeant jumps in St. Johns River to save woman, internet loves it

Sgt. Billy Irvin leaps to action after callers report body floating in river

Photo of Sgt. Billy Irvin provided by the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office.
Photo of Sgt. Billy Irvin provided by the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A Jacksonville police sergeant rescued a woman Tuesday from the St. Johns River after a citizen called to report a body floating in the river south of Main Street.

Police responded to the call just before 1 p.m. Tuesday and spotted the body heading south with the current, which was picking up.

Sgt. Billy Irvin jumped into the water to try to rescue the person, not sure if she was alive or not.

Irvin reached the woman in the middle of the river between the Hyatt and the The Landing and signaled that she was alive.

A group of three construction workers saw what was going on and helped Irvin pull the woman from the water onto their boat.

“We thank them for stepping up and helping our sergeant in a time of need,” the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office wrote on its Facebook page.

A fellow sergeant snapped a photo of Irvin as he got off the boat back on dry land. JSO said several people witnessed Irvin going “above and beyond the call of duty” and risking his life to save the woman.

The photo has more than 1,000 comments and 2,300 shares.

“He is a hero to all of us and all of the people who witnessed this going on,” JSO wrote. “So many citizens came up just to shake his hand, thanking him for his heroic efforts.”

Police did not release information on the woman's identity, her condition or how she ended up in the river.