Hero officer keeps swim on hot summer day from turning tragic - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

Hero officer keeps swim on hot summer day from turning tragic

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CPD Officer Austin Sanner with Destiny Cash and her mother CPD Officer Austin Sanner with Destiny Cash and her mother
COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) -

Destiny Cash and her friends decided to head to the Broad  River for a summer swim Thursday.

"It was really high but the water looked calm. So I was like, it's probably not a big deal and I'll just go swimming anyways," she said.

The fearless 15-year-old who spent years on the swim team edged her way into the water and slipped. Before she knew it, she was swept away.

"No matter what I did or how I tried to fight it, I just kept getting pushed back," said Cash.

Cash was able to grab onto a fallen tree, but as she panicked and grew tired, she shouted to her friends to call for help.

First to respond was Officer Austin Sanner with the Columbia Police Department. The rookie removed his belt, vest, and boots. By that time the Fire Department had also arrived and helped to tie a rope around his waist.

"I immediately jumped right in and got out there to her," said Sanner. "The current was really strong and the water was really deep and cold."

At 6 feet 5 inches, the officer couldn't touch the bottom of the river. Once he reached Cash they were reeled to safety.

"They pulled us back probably about a good 20 feet through all the briars and the brush and all the trees that were overturned," said Sanner.

It was just a day on the job for Sanner. However, to Destiny and her mother, it was a day that involved a hero.

"I can't imagine if she wouldn't have been able to hold on or if he wouldn't have been as brave as he was," said Cash's mother, Jennifer.


Both Cash and Sanner received some minor scrapes.

Officer Sanner has worked for the Columbia Police Department for a year. He said he doesn't think of himself as a hero, and was only doing what anyone else would do in his position.

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