While police stood by and watched. From the DailyMail "A Strathclyde Police spokesman said: 'It is not the responsibility of the police to go into the water - it's the fire and rescue service.' "
I would fire the police and give the college students a medal. I realize that might not be the most prudent thing to do. Forcing somebody to try to save somebody else could get the rescuer(s) killed. Nobody ever said I was calm and rational.
Virginia cops who sit back and let people in front of them be assaulted by third persons can be sued because cops have a "special duty" to help in such circumstances. They can be sued for not protecting the one under assault. Not sure that would extend to saving a drowning person. Probably would depend upon how difficult the rescue might be. What do all y'all think?