Ottie Steve Harrelson devoted his life to public service. He worked for the Orlando Police Department and the Seminole County Sheriff’s Department. Even though he retired, he still was active in public service. Just recently, Harrelson was among several other officers who took disabled children on a boating trip. When one of the disabled children fell off the boat, Harrelson jumped in the water to save the teenager. Once Harrelson jumped in, the teenager swam back to the boat. Unfortunately and tragically, Harrelson could not get back to the boat. He was later pulled from the water but could not be revived. After being on life support for a weekend, he was taken off the life support.
The story was reported in the Orlando Sentinel, Miami Herald and other newspapers at Retired Officer Drowns Trying to Save Disabled Boy.
The news reports did leave out some details as to the incident including the type of boat used, type of life jackets used for the disabled teens and adult chaperones / officers, the owner /operator of the boat, and the type of safety measures used for the protection of both of the teenagers / children as well as the adults.
What is clear is that Ottie Steve Harrelson did what he though was right and necessary at the time. He bravely risked his life to save the life of a disabled teenager. Harrelson was 65 years old.