This hero took action while others stood by helplessly.
Anthony Capuano, a 29-year old New Jersey lifeguard and swim instructor, lived up to his title when he saved the life of a man who was trapped in a car that was sinking into the Newark Bay.
It was doubly heroic since Anthony had lost a leg 11 years ago when he was hit by a train. Back then, it was the quick action of his brother, Michael, and a paramedic that saved Anthony’s life.
On November 10, Anthony paid it forward.
Anthony had finished his workout at Stephen R. Gregg Park when he heard screaming. He said he found a group of 20 or so bystanders on the shore of the Newark Bay watching as a car was sinking into the water about 50 feet from the shore.
“Someone had said out loud, ‘Does anybody know how to swim?’” Capuano said. “And I was just like, ‘Oh. I guess that’s me.’ And then I jumped in.”
Recalling the incident, Anthony said, “I hopped over the fence and when I got onto the rocks I took off my leg and I crab-walked over the rocks.” He jumped into the water and swam furiously towards the car. Anthony managed to pull the driver out just in time.
It was all caught on video as the bystanders were screaming on the shore.
He said that when he reached the man’s car, he had to calm him down. “He was like ‘I can’t swim, I can’t swim.’ I said ‘It’s OK, I’m a lifeguard.'”
Here’s the raw video of the rescue:
“It was crazy because I got him out in the last second,” he said. “It was that moment when a car goes into a body of water where all the air releases and then the car sinks. That’s basically when I pulled him out.”
Capuano and a friend, Marcelino Cruz, brought the man back to shore. A statement released by the Hudson County Sheriff’s Office said the driver, 68-year-old Joseph Kadian, was attempting to pull over when the accident occurred.
The statement by Hudson County Sheriff’s Office explains, “After an investigation and speaking with the driver, it was determined that while pulling over to answer a call and attempting to park, the driver lost control of the vehicle and simultaneously had his foot on both the brake and accelerator pedals. This caused him to accelerate the vehicle into the bay.”
Here’s the ABC 7 report:
Anthony is a lifeguard and swim coach at Bayonne’s British Swim School. He had just finished his lifeguard training before his accident in 2009. “The day that I lost my leg, I was supposed to pick up my certification card,” he said.
That lifeguard training sure came in handy.
But not everybody was thrilled about the rescue mission. Capuano’s father, he said, “was pretty mad” about the incident.
“He was like, ‘You went in the (bay)?’” Capuano said. “’Do you know how dirty that water is? Do you know about the currents? You know how dangerous it is?’”
It looks like Anthony’s dad is in the minority, however, even the Mayor of Bayonne praised Anthony’s heroism.
His response was humbling, but his actions got big props from Mayor Jimmy Davis on Wednesday.
“Anthony’s instincts and professionalism just took over, he jumped in, didn’t think about his own safety,” Davis said.
Source: ABC 7 News
What Anthony did was real-deal hero stuff!