In 1997, then-5-year-old Christopher Jones nearly drowned in a local swimming pool in Columbus, Ohio.

Were it not for the actions of a heroic police officer, he would have died that day.

At the weekend, Jones got a chance to say thank you in person.

The now-24-year-old adult walked into the Columbus Police Academy and provided a teary-eyed, heartfelt surprise to his saviour, officer James Poole, greeting him for the first time since that fateful day.


The story was first reported by the Columbus Dispatch.

"About 1997, you pulled a 5-year-old out of a swimming pool, saved his life," Jones said to a stunned Poole.

"Wow," a clearly moved Poole said. "I never thought that something I would do 19, 20 years later would come back, and somebody would thank me."

Jones embraced Poole and, with tears in his eyes, told him that were it not for his actions 19 years ago, he would not have been able to have a daughter.

Although all of the details of the incident are unclear, what is known is that Jones' heart stopped beating after he had been in the water for nearly 20 minutes.

Poole, who was a rookie officer at the time, pulled Jones from the bottom of the pool and saved his life.

The idea for a reunion came when Jones saw a picture of Poole on the Columbus police department's Facebook page.

While Jones knew that the name of the officer who rescued him was Poole, he wasn't certain that this was the one who saved him.

When he asked on Facebook whether this was the same Poole, he was contacted by another officer who confirmed that it was indeed him and that a reunion was in order.

Poole's colleagues organised an event in which the officer was supposedly going to speak to the press about his function as a community liaison.

At the 'press conference,' Jones strolled in to the lobby of the Police Academy, where Poole was holding court with the media on a couch.

When Jones tapped him on the shoulder and told him who he was, Poole realised that the event was set up.

"Because of you, I'm still here," Jones told Poole. "Because of you, this 5-year-old little girl right here is here."

"Law enforcement is definitely a rewarding job," Poole said to Jones. "You are a perfect example of the reward that we get out of it."

Jones said that Poole was so inspirational that it is making him consider a career in law enforcement.

"He is exactly what I want to be," Jones said of Poole.