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HOWARD COUNTY, Md. (WUSA9) -- A Howard County police sergeant helped rescue a 9-year-old girl over the weekend, who was in distress in the Little Patuxent River close to Savage Mill Trail.

Sgt. Michael Johnson was patrolling on foot Sunday when he heard a girl screaming. Johnson ran toward the screams and spotted a girl in shoulder-deep water being swept down the river by the current.

Johnson called dispatch and requested Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services respond for a swift water rescue.

Authorities said that the girl's foot was stuck under a rock. Johnson jumped into the water when he realized she was struggling to keep her head above the water.

Johnson was picked up by the current, however was able to grab onto a crate that was in between some rocks. Authorities said he was able to free the girl's trapped foot and then pull her to the edge of the water. A bystander helped get her onto the river bank.

"This is an example of the ways in which our officers put their lives on the line every day," said Police Chief William J. McMahon. "We are very proud of Sgt. Johnson for all that he did to ensure this situation had a good outcome."

Authorities want to remind the public to take the following precautions if you see someone fall into the water:

- Call 9-1-1 immediately.

- Give accurate information about where you saw the victim go in, what the victim was wearing and any notable landmarks you see.

- Do not attach anything to yourself and toss it to a victim in the water. You will be pulled in by the force of the current.

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