Police Officer Saved By Firefighter Girlfriend From Drowning After UTV Crash

A Spring Hill, Tenn. police officer had to be rescued by his firefighter girlfriend after he was trapped in his Utility Terrain Vehicle under seven feet of water in Hickman County, Tenn. on Sunday.

Patrick Ryan, 37, who is also a Maury County firefighter, told WKRN-TV he and Sarah Ebbert, his 29-year-old girlfriend, were out riding the UTV on Sunday when the front tire slid into a hole just a few feet from shore, and the vehicle flipped into the water.

"I became trapped in my seatbelt," Ryan told WKRN. "I knew I was in trouble then. I thought this is it."

Ambulance Racing at Night
A Spring Hill, Tenn. police officer had to be rescued by his firefighter girlfriend after he was trapped in his Utility Terrain Vehicle under seven feet of water on Sunday. Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Ebbert, who is a firefighter in Maury County, had no issues undoing her seatbelt and got to shore. When Ryan did not resurface, Ebbert went into action.

"And I noticed he was not coming up. I knew he was in trouble. He was trapped," she told WKRN.

Ebbert went back into the water, she said it was dark and she couldn't see anything. She said she thought the worst, knowing Ryan had been underwater a long time before she began her rescue attempt.

"I thought he was gone," Ebbert told WKRN. "(Because) of how much time he spent under water already."

According to the WKRN report, Ebbert dove into the water, which was described as "pitch black," multiple times in order to find the UTV and Ryan. Once she found and freed him, Ebbert, with help from others in their group, helped Ryan to shore.

Then Ebbert performed CPR. "My instinct took over from the training I had," she told WKRN. "All of a sudden as quick as it happened, he came back in that moment and everything was okay."

Ryan remembered waking up to someone touching his arm and hearing sirens from the Hickman County rescue units, WKRN reported.

"I got my composure and I'm like 'I'm fine what are you all doing?' And they're like 'we just did CPR on you for several minutes,' and I was blown away," he told WKRN.

"She saved my life," Ryan told WKRN.. "It brought us a lot closer. We were already close, but it's definitely...I know how much she cares."

WKRN asked if this experience would make him a different first responder.

"I've never thought of it as a big deal what we do; it's just a job we do every day, be now seeing the other side of it, I see the impact we have on people's lives," he said.

WKRN reported that Ryan initially refused to be taken to the hospital, but later went on his own, and stayed the ICU for two nights as a precaution due to low oxygen levels.

Ryan told WKRN he expects his doctor to give him full clearance to return to duty in the coming days.