LA Sheriff's Deputy Receives Medal of Valor Honor for Lake Rescue

Deputy Jenna Underwood-Nunez was five months pregnant when she saved a 17-year-old boy struggling in a San Bernardino County lake

A Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy who saved a boy from drowning was among the recipients of a Public Safety Officer Medal of Valor Wednesday at a ceremony in Washington, D.C.

List: Medal of Valor Recipients

On April 27, 2013, Deputy Jenna Underwood-Nunez -- who was five months pregnant -- was off duty and at a San Bernardino County campground with her family when she saw a boy in the water signaling for help. The boy told Underwood-Nunez his brother was under the water about 200 yards from shore, according to the sheriff's department.

"Fully clothed, she swam toward the victim, only to learn that the struggling boy was trying to draw attention to his brother, submerged in 15 feet of water," the White House statement continued. "She dove in the murky water to search for the victim at the bottom of the lake. She found him, dragged him to the shore and began life-saving measures to restore his breathing."

Underwood-Nunez clutched the boy under her arm and dragged him to a nearby inflatable boat, occupied by a man and his daughter. The 17-year-old victim was airlifted to a hospital and recovered in time to celebrate his high school graduation.

The ceremony, hosted by Vice President Joe Biden and attended by Attorney General Eric Holder, is at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building adjacent to the White House.

The Public Safety Officer Medal of Valor, authorized by law in 2001, is the highest national award for valor presented to a public safety officer. The medal is awarded to officers who have exhibited exceptional courage, regardless of personal safety, in the attempt to save or protect human life.

Copyright CNS - City News Service
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