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Autistic Girl Rescued from Alligator Swamp

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Florida deputies heroically save a 5-year-old autistic girl from an alligator-infested swamp, showcasing quick action and the use of infrared technology.

Deputies Save 5-Year-Old Autistic Girl From Alligator-Infested Swamp

The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office launched a search for the missing child on February 26, 2024, at 5:10 p.m.

Aware of the danger from alligators and snakes, deputies acted urgently.

Sheriff Chad Chronister highlighted the risks involved, stating, “You’re going to have snakes, alligators. That’s their feeding time so you can imagine the sense of urgency we had”.

A helicopter with an infrared camera was crucial in locating the missing girl quickly during a search operation.
To maximize the search efforts, the sheriff’s department deployed a helicopter equipped with an infrared camera. This decision proved crucial as the aviation unit located the girl in under an hour.

Bodycam footage shows deputies gently reassuring and safely escorting the girl out of the swamp.

Sheriff Chronister commended the deputies for their quick action, which turned a potential tragedy into a hopeful reunion. He emphasized that their dedication exemplifies the service and protection ethos of the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.

The girl was found unharmed, returned to her family, and no charges will be filed against the parents.

Bodycam footage of deputies carefully rescuing a young girl from a swamp.
Deputies’ bodycam captures the careful rescue of a young girl from a swamp.

This incident highlights the need for quick, coordinated search and rescue in alligator-rich Florida environments.

It also highlights the critical role of technology, such as thermal imaging, in enhancing the effectiveness of search efforts.

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