The Atlanta Journal/The Atlanta Constitution
The Atlanta Journal and The Atlanta Constitution
September 19, 1986
TV cameraman on story rescues woman in river
Author: WALSTON, CHARLES; Charles Walston Staff Writer
Edition: The Atlanta Journal
Section: STATE NEWS
Estimated printed pages: 2
Rod Berger, 20, a television cameraman for WTOC in Savannah, forgot about shooting videotape and remembered his Eagle Scout
training when he jumped into the Savannah River to rescue a woman Thursday morning. The woman was not identified.
A 20-year-old television cameraman forgot about shooting videotape and remembered his Eagle Scout training when he jumped into
the Savannah River to rescue a woman Thursday morning.
Rod Berger, an employee of WTOC in Savannah, heard a report on the police scanner that a woman was in the water, he said
Thursday night. He drove to the river around 3 a.m. and saw police several hundred yards upstream, he said.
The current was quick, Berger said, and he headed for the bank, pulling off his shoes and socks. He watched while police threw
lifebuoys to a woman in the water, "but she either didn't want to or couldn't grab them," he said.
At that point, Berger abandoned his camera. "I t! hought about it as I came up, but the minute I saw that she might go on by, I just
went in," he said.
He said the police officers were about 30 yards behind the woman when he arrived, and she was moving so quickly that they didn't
have a chance to jump in after her.
"I had a real good angle on it," he said. "That's what I realized, that I was in the best position of anyone. I knew if she got past me .
Berger took a Red Cross lifesaving course when he was 13 and later received Boy Scout training in lifesaving. He earned the rank of
Eagle Scout, he said.
Savannah police would not release the identity of the woman, who apparently j umped into the river, but Berger said she seemed to
be in her early 20s. She did not thank him afterward. "She was exhausted by then," he said.
"I still kind of think it's something anyone would do," he added. "There wasn't any other choice to it. I think anyone would have
done it, I just h! ad the only opportunity."
The last sentence did not appear in the final edition.
Copyright 1986 The Atlanta Journal and The Atlanta Constitution
Record Number: 860904032