OKALOOSA COUNTY, Fla. (WKRG) — A deputy with the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office is being congratulated after he saved a swimmer who was drowning off the Gulf. A body camera video caught the officer in action as he ran into the waters behind Sandpiper Cove Condominium.
OCSO dispatch contacted Deputy David Bazylak after receiving reports of two people being caught in a rip current. Deputies said both people were attempting to swim against the rip current in order to make it back to shore. Bystanders attempted to help but were told not to because it was too dangerous, according to officials.
When Deputy Bazylak arrived on scene, he saw one man made it to a sand bar but the woman was still fighting against the current. Deputy Bazylak and Deputy Ariel Planck yelled for the woman to swim parallel but they said she was struggling to keep her head above water.
Deputy Bazylak, who had lifeguard training, removed his gear and took off into the water. He previously had lifeguard training due to being part of the Beach Unit for many years. Deputy Bazylak was able to reach the swimmer and bring her back to shore safely. He was presented the OCSO Life Saving Award for his heroic actions.