Vacationing police officer, hotel manager save drowning toddler in dramatic rescue

A little boy is alive thanks to the quick action of strangers who were ready to use their on-the-job training. A vacationing New Jersey police officer and a hotel manager are being hailed as heroes for helping to rescue a 2-year-old who nearly drowned in Clearwater Beach, Florida.

According to a statement by the Clearwater Police Department, Sgt. Sean O’Hare of the Morris Township Police Department was sitting by the pool at the Sheraton Sand Key Resort in Clearwater Beach around 1:30 pm on Sunday when he heard screaming.  The officer saw a young child being pulled from the deep end of the pool.

O’Hare ran to the boy’s side and observed that the child was blue and lifeless.  O’Hare began to administer CPR and was soon joined by Sheraton hotel employee Vince Tropea, who continued to administer CPR to the young child.

The boy was revived by the life-saving measures and was transported by paramedics to All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg, where he was released after observation.

The child’s mother told ABC Action News of Tampa on Monday that her son was, thankfully, already “back to his happy self.”

Tropea, who is also the father of a five-year-old son, said that he had completed a CPR recertification course just two months ago, along with the other resort managers.

When he received the terrifying call that there was a child face down in the hotel pool, he rushed to the scene, as he recounted to ABC Action News.

“When you get to be 50 you don’t sprint too fast, but I sprinted as fast as I could.”

After rescuers applied compression for about three minutes, the boy’s eyes opened, he gasped for breath and began crying.

Sgt. O’Hare, a 20-year veteran officer, spoke to the Clearwater Police Department about the dramatic rescue.

“I didn’t think it was going to be good when I first saw him.  I am not sure how long he was under, but I’m sure it was for a good couple of minutes.”

The officer spoke about always being on duty, even while on vacation.

“That’s the reason you take the job,” he said. “To help people.


Feature photo: Facebook