“Every life is worth saving and we just did what we could,” said Sergeant Kirby Tonkin of the Melbourne, Australia police department.
Sgt. Tonkin and Sgt. Christopher Russo say that their dramatic rescue on the beach near Mornington Peninsula was simply all in a day’s work, but that’s not stopping witnesses from hailing them as heroes.
When local resident Mia Grant looked out her window that Saturday afternoon, she saw a kangaroo go bouncing down the lane towards nearby Safety Beach. This being Australia, it wasn’t an unusual sight… but what happened next left Mia stunned.
“I saw him swimming and started filming but he suddenly got caught in the backwash of the waves so we got him out and waited for police,” she explained. As Mia and friends waited for the cops to arrive, the startled animal inexplicably jumped up and ran directly back into the churning ocean waves.
Sgts. Russo and Tonkin were right behind him, dashing into the ocean in pursuit of the exhausted animal. The two men saw that the animal was losing strength quickly, going underwater for longer periods of time and coughing up a mixture of sea water and blood that indicated he didn’t have much time left.
“He had less than a minute… he went under and as he came up you could see foam coming out of his nose. He was drowning,” Sgt Russo said. The two officers reached the kangaroo and rather indelicately pulled him out of the ocean by the tail.
“I grabbed his tail and Kirby cradled his head and dragged him onto the beach and cleared his lungs to get the water out of him. Then we just started to push on his chest and he started breathing again and I could feel a heartbeat.”
Sgt. Russo explained that he’d once had a veterinarian teach him how to do chest compressions on a dog, so doing CPR on a kangaroo wasn’t very different. This unusual necessity is just another example of the kind of varied services police officers are called to deliver during the course of their shift!
Mia said, “You see a lot of bad things and to see someone so instantaneously race in after an animal gives you faith in humanity.”
Once the ‘roo was breathing normally again, the officers wrapped him in a blanket and transported him to the station, where he was then collected by wildlife services. He seems poised to make a full recovery, all thanks to these brave officers who weren’t afraid of getting wet if it meant saving a life.
A kangaroo has been rescued from the surf by two police officers in Victoria. The kangaroo began to struggle in the deep water and worried many onlookers who put in the call for help. #7News pic.twitter.com/2NWDUHpUPL
— 7 News Brisbane (@7NewsBrisbane) October 28, 2018
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