ATLANTA — Marietta Police Officer Ryan Smith is a hero on and off duty. While eating at Canoe Restaurant, he sprang into action to save a woman from drowning on Saturday.
Smith told 11Alive that he joined his girlfriend and her mother for food and drinks by the river, before he noticed the woman in the water.
“We saw this woman just coming down on her float and it looked deflated. We were asking if she needed help, and it looked like she was nodding,” Smith said.
The off-duty officer jumped into the river with a restaurant manager.
“Me and one of the workers at Canoe, actually. I just basically took off my watch and my shirt, everything. We both went in and swam out to her,” Smith recalled.
Smith’s girlfriend, who is also a blogger @BelleontheBeltline, captured the rescue with her cell phone. It was Smith’s early beginnings that prepared him for the epic rescue.
Starting at age 15, Smith performed duties of a lifeguard for 7 years.
“It was kind of like, this is my lifeguard moment,” he said.
The woman he rescued is doing well and was taken into restaurant for food, and a blanket.
“The owner of the restaurant came to pick her up because she was cold, we were right there so we just walked back. As we were leaving, the boyfriend and girlfriend were in fire rescue and thanked me as I was leaving and that was nice,” Smith said.
Smith said he will be 26 next month. He’s been a part of the Marietta Police department for a year since coming the area from Maryland.