Scott Cooper helped to save a boy and girl from drowning, St. Pete Beach, Florida, October 13, 2018. The brother and sister were swimming in the Gulf of Mexico when they were carried away from shore by a current and shouted for help. Cooper, 46, correctional facility sergeant, was fishing from the dock of a nearby jetty when he heard shouting and saw the boy about 10 feet from the jetty, struggling to stay afloat in the water. Cooper climbed onto the dock’s railing and saw the girl a few feet from the boy. Despite no easy egress from the water, which was murky, deep, and had a strong current, Cooper jumped in feet first and submerged. After Cooper surfaced, the boy climbed onto him, submerging him several times. Cooper resurfaced again, grasped the boy with one arm and the girl with the other, and moved them both a short distance to the dock. Others on the dock lifted the boy from the water. Unable to lift the girl up, Cooper moved her toward large rocks and helped her climb up onto them. Others pulled her up and helped the girl off of the rocks to safety. Cooper pushed away from the rocks, and floating on his back and kicking, reached shallow water where he was able to wade ashore. The boy and girl were not injured. Cooper ingested water and sustained lacerations to his hands and feet; he recovered. The children’s mother, who had entered the water at some point along with their four other siblings, was removed from the water by rescue personnel. She had drowned.
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