Indiana Officer Saves Woman and 8-Year-Old Daughter from Drowning in River by Carrying Them His Back

“My mentality is if I can change one person’s life, then my whole career is worth it," the officer said after the rescue mission

<p>Getty</p> Mill Race Park in Columbus, Indiana


Mill Race Park in Columbus, Indiana

A police officer in Indiana saved a woman and her young daughter from drowning in a river on Saturday, June 15, per the Columbus Police Department Facebook press release.

Officer Andrew Plank rescued Charity Weis, 34, and her daughter in Columbus, Ind. after the Columbus Police Department was called around 1:42 p.m.

Plank found the mother and daughter at Mill Race Park two minutes after the emergency call, the police department said. He was then directed to a sandbar in the water, where he found the two staying afloat by holding onto a fallen tree. The woman shouted that she couldn’t hold on for much longer.

“Without hesitation, Officer Plank took off his body armor vest and duty belt and went into the water. Officer Plank swam out to the fallen tree and retrieved the child first,” read the CPD press release. It said Plank then swam with the child on his back as he returned her to the river bank, before going back to help the woman.

After Plank’s rescue mission, Weis and her daughter emerged from the river safely and were evaluated by emergency medical services.

<p>Getty</p> Stock image of police car lights


Stock image of police car lights

Related: 7-Year-Old Saved from Drowning by 2 Young Boys, 12 and 8, in Michigan: ‘They’re My Heroes'

CPD said that two children had been playing on a sandbar in the river and ended up in the water. Their mother, Weis, then went into the river to rescue them, but she and her 8-year-old daughter got caught in the current.

A representative from the Columbus Police Department did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for more information on Wednesday.

The Columbus Police Department added in their statement that they encourage "anyone in or around a body of water to wear a personal floatation device. The river’s current can be deadly even for strong swimmers."

<p>Getty</p> Mill Race Park in Columbus, Indiana


Mill Race Park in Columbus, Indiana

Related: Texas Police Officers Reunite with Child They Saved Following Near-Fatal Pool Drowning

“We’ve been to many of these where the outcome is not as good,” Plank told The Republic. “I was just thinking get there, save them.”

“I did what anyone would do,” said Plank.

Per The Republic, Plank has been part of the police force for 10 years and previously served in the Marine Corps. During his tenure with the Marines, he was taught rescue swimming, which included lessons on how to swim with or against the current and how to save people who may be drowning.

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“My adrenaline was going pretty hard, and once we got on to the bank and medics had them, it was just this relief,” he said. “I’m just so thankful that the police department gives us the training needed to go out here and save lives.”

“We see the worst of the worst, and what keeps me going is being able to save people, help people, and see the smiles on their faces after it happens,” he said. “My mentality is if I can change one person’s life, then my whole career is worth it.”

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