Drowning woman rescued by 3 SC corrections officers

A 27-year-old woman fell into a drainage pipe under the road in Conway while taking pictures with boyfriend

By Elizabeth Townsend
The Sun News 

MYRTLE BEACH — A woman out exploring and taking flood pictures in Conway almost lost her life after fast-moving water pulled her beneath the roadway through a drainage pipe Sunday, but three Horry County Sheriff corrections officers stopped and rescued her.

The trouble started about 5:30 p.m. when a 27-year-old woman’s boyfriend slipped and fell in a ditch while the couple was out walking down Harris Shortcut Road in Conway taking pictures of flooding, according to a press release from Sherri Smith, Horry County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman.

Authorities said while Amber Lloyd tried to save her boyfriend, she was caught in fast-flowing water and sucked beneath the roadway through a drainage pipe. Police said Lloyd was underwater for two to three minutes.

However, Corrections Officers Donnell Hargrove and Jake Thompkins, who were in route to work, stopped and helped rescue Lloyd, along with Lt. Scott Bower, who was off-duty and passing by and saw the two officers offering aid in the drainage ditch.

The officers tried to reach Lloyd on the side of the ditch where she went under, but couldn’t get to her, so the officers went to the other side of the drainage pipe to search there, thinking she may come through that side with the rushing water.

The officers found Lloyd floating face down and partially submerged in the water and pulled her out and up onto the roadside.

Officers said Lloyd’s color was bluish-purple, and that she showed no signs of life. They immediately did CPR until she slightly moved her lips and eyes under their lids.

She was carried to the back of Lt. Bower’s pickup truck and was carefully driven to meet an ambulance and other rescue workers, who could not get to the scene directly because other vehicles were blocking the roadway.

She was taken to Conway Medical Center where she received treatment and was released Tuesday.

Sheriff Phillip Thompson said he was very happy to know Lloyd was doing well and was proud of the quick reaction and response of his officers who helped save her life.

“This display of heroism to help people in need and putting other people’s lives above their own, even when they are “off duty” shows the character of these men,” Thompson said in a release.

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