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Agent rescues man from icy water: “God definitely put me there for a reason”

Jamestown police officer Nathaniel Schaffer saved a man from drowning off a pier late one night, he was not scheduled to work.
(FOX Providence)

A Rhode Island police officer is being hailed a hero after saving a man from drowning in cold water.

Jamestown police officer Nathaniel Schaffer was another employee, a shift of the night, in which he responded to a frantic 911 call just before 1 a.m. from a woman who said that her friend was in the water from a pier.

“I think that God definitely put me there for a reason,” Schaffer told FOX Providence, but he added that “other officer would have done the same thing under the circumstances.”

When Shaffer arrived at the scene, the 34-year-old man from Brighton, Massachusetts, was initially react in the water, and according to his friend, that he voluntarily jumped into the water, but as time passed, he was not responding to the officer.

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“He was lifeless. He bit drifted, rolled over on his side,” Schaffer said. “His mouth was half in the water, half out. He was in the water with each breath.”

While his sergeant was grabbing a life jacket, Schaffer jumped in.

Shaffer grabbed the man and swam to the ladder but the dock is too high to climb six feet, so she decided to go to a lower dock about 100 yards away.

By the time rescue workers had come to the man from the water, Schaffer said that he was unresponsive and foaming at the mouth.

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Both were taken to the Newport Hospital. Schaffer was treated for mild hypothermia, and the man recovered after a few days.

On Tuesday night, the man he saved a visit to the police station to thank Shaffer in person, and assured him that he wasn’t going to go for a swim in the pier.

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