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Officer Jumps Into Sacramento River To Rescue Woman

A Redding Police Officer made a heroic rescue Thursday on a woman who nearly drowned near the Sundial Bridge. At around Noon, Jeff Shea, Miranda Steiger, Kaelin Dietrich and a 22-year-old woman launched into the Sacramento River from the boat ramp at Caldwell Park. They were on flimsy pool inflatables and none of them had paddles or life vests. They tied the floats together and headed downriver, quickly realizing that they were on a collision course with the ACID Diversion Dam, and the current was too strong to get to shore despite their frantically paddling with their hands. As they passed through the pillars of the dam, Miranda Steiger was able to pull herself to safety up onto the wood walkway. The other three shot into the swirling waters below the dam, which sent them spinning back toward the concrete. Shea and Dietrich managed to swim to shore but the 22-year-old woman went underwater and was pushed downriver until she was seen floating toward the Market Street Bridge, face-down and unresponsive. Multiple agencies were dispatched to the call, and RPD Motorcycle Officer James Stark quickly rode to the north side of the Sundial Bridge and parked next to the river. He spotted the woman floating face down about 60 feet from shore and didn’t hesitate to jump into the 50 degree water and swim out to the victim. He got her back to shore and found her to be not breathing and without a pulse, so he started CPR until an ambulance arrived, along with Redding Fire Department and Sheriff’s Boating Safety. The woman showed signs of life and she was taken to a hospital, though it’s not known if she’ll survive.