JACKSONVILLE (FOX 13) - A Jacksonville sheriff's deputy is being called a hero after jumping into a river to retrieve a floating body - but instead, rescuing a woman clinging to life.
The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office says a witness called Tuesday after spotting what seemed to be a body floating in the St. Johns River. Sergeant Billy Irvin arrived at the scene and immediately jumped into the water.
The witness told dispatchers the body appeared to be in the middle of the river, flowing toward the Main Street Bridge, and the current was picking up.
When Sgt. Irvin got closer, he realized the person was alive, the sheriff's office said Tuesday in a Facebook post about the ordeal. Shortly after, three construction workers from Superior Construction saw what was going on and brought a boat to help Sgt. Irvin.
"We thank them for stepping up and helping our sergeant in his urgent time of need," the Facebook post from the sheriff's office, which included a photo of a dripping wet Sgt. Billy Irvin, said.
A fellow sergeant took the photo, which has been shared more than 3,000 times on social media.
"He is a hero to all of us and all of the people who witnessed this going on," the Facebook post continued. "Numerous citizens came up to Sgt. Irvin just to shake his hand thanking him for his heroic efforts and jumping in the river."
The sheriff's office said it had not received an update on the status of the person rescued from the river.