BOSTON — Cell phone video captures Boston police Officer Edward Norton leaping into the frigid Fort Point Channel Friday in a torrential downpour to rescue a woman who had fallen into the water.
"She was in there calling for help, and I can swim," Norton explained.
"He didn't hesitate," witness Hal Munger said. "Ran down the steps, took off his belt, and jumped into the water and swam over to get her."
Officer Norton said the woman was drowning, and he didn't think twice about diving in.
"One of the other officers had been given a life preserver; I think it came from the Tea Party Museum, so that helped a lot," Norton said. "I was able to hold on to that while she was holding onto the life preserver, while holding onto the raft that was out there."
"He put the life preserver around her and then swam to this floating device right here, and they just held on until the fire department came, and then the divers jumped in the water after them," said witness Keith Young
Bystanders watched as a boat picked up Officer Norton, the woman and the two firefighters. All four were taken to a hospital to be checked out for hypothermia.
"Tell you what. That cop was the hero of the day," Young said. "He didn't think twice about it."
But Officer Norton said it was all in a day's work.
"That's our job to show up when people call for help," he said. "If we don't help, then no one's going to."
No one was seriously hurt. The woman told the officer who rescued her that the fall was an accident.