Long Beach Police Commissioner Thomas R. Sofield, Sr. announced today the details of a water rescue that took place at Riverside Boulevard and the Oceanfront at one o’clock in the morning today. It was the middle of the night and no lifeguards were on duty.
Police Officer David Walpole while patrolling the beach heard someone yelling for help, from the ocean and in the darkness. Officer Walpole radioed for assistance and initiated a water rescue operation. With the spotlight on the patrol vehicle, he was able to locate the swimmer, who was crying for help, in the ocean. Officer Walpole then launched the Res-Q-max (The Res-Q-max is a unique piece of emergency water rescue equipment acquired by the Long Beach Police Department. The shotgun like device launches a projectile that upon contact with the water instantly inflates and provides a floatation device to the victim in the water. Attached to the projectile/floatation device is a line. The line is used to pull the victim to safety once he latches on to it.) At about this time additional back-up Officers had arrived. Police Officers Darren Brennan and Christopher Monahan entered the water. As Police Officer Walpole was manning the spotlight, Police Officer Joseph Wiemann manned the emergency P.A. speaker and guided the officers to the swimmer in distress. Once located and secured, the Officers and victim latched on to the Res-Q-max flotation device. They all were pulled to safety by Officers David Walpole, Christopher Orza and Eric Irizarry, who were manning the safety line from shore.
As a result of the swift operation the swimmer suffered no life threatening injuries and was able to leave on his own. The swimmer was issued summonses for being in the ocean and being on the Ocean Beach Park after hours.
Police Commissioner Thomas R. Sofield, Sr. Stated, “I cannot stress enough the dangers of swimming in the ocean when they are not protected by lifeguards. Riptides and strong currents can strike at any moment and without warning. The Long Beach Police Department is fortunate to have Police Officers such as Officer Walpole and the others who took part in this water rescue operation. If not for their quick thinking and actions the consequences of this event could have been catastrophic.”
Deputy Inspector Bruce Meyer Public Information Officer